Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Nailfold video capillaroscopy is considered as a reliable method for evaluating peripheral microangiopathy in rheumatologic diseases. In this study, we aimed to demonstrate the utility of handheld dermatoscopy as an easy-to-use nailfold capillaroscopic instrument in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Materials and methods: This cross-sectional study included patients with rheumatoid arthritis and healthy subjects. A handheld dermatoscopic examination of proximal nail fold was performed in each subject. The possible correlation of capillaroscopic findings with disease activity was evaluated using the disease activity score 28 (DAS28). Results: A total of 59 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 60 healthy subjects were enrolled in the study. The presence of capillary enlargement, avascular areas, capillary deformities, and capillary vascular anomalies in the group of patients showed a statistically significant difference when compared with the healthy subjects. No correlation was found between the nail fold capillaroscopic findings and DAS28 score. Conclusion: Hand-held dermatoscopy seems to be a useful technique in the evaluation of nail fold capillary changes. We suggest that in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, when capillaroscopic examination is needed, it can be evaluated using handheld dermatoscopy. Selected patients who showed findings using this method can be further examined with classical capillaroscopy to obtain more quantitative data.


Dermatoscopy, handheld dermatoscopy, nailfold dermatoscopy, nailfold capillaroscopy, rheumatoid arthritis

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