Background: Nailfold capillaroscopy is a safe and useful investigational tool that allows an early detection and a qualitative description of the microvascular abnormalities in patients with Raynaud's phenomenon secondary to scleroderma-spectrum disorders. Nowadays, the role of capillaroscopy in the diagnosis of systemic sclerosis is well known. Capillaroscopy has been included in the new 2013 classification criteria for systemic sclerosis and is considered a key investigation in the very early phases of the disease.
Conclusion: Because of its potential value in monitoring disease progression and treatment response, nailfold capillaroscopy may also have a role in the management of overt systemic sclerosis.
Results: Its application in scleroderma-spectrum disorders in which a microvascular component is suspected may also provide new insights into their pathophysiology.
Keywords: Nailfold capillaroscopy, systemic sclerosis, Raynaud's phenomenon, microcirculation, systemic sclerosis, autoantibodies, biomarkers, imaging, classification criteria, differential diagnosis, connective tissue diseases.