In vivo nailfold capillary microscopy was performed on 10 men with vibration white finger (VWF) and 10 age-matched male controls. The observed nailfold capillaries required adaptation of Maricq's classifications and addition of new morphological scoring systems. These new classifications produced numerical scores for assessing capillary: dropout, tortuosity, elongation, visualization of subpapillary venular plexus, and the degree of disarrangement of nailfold capillary polarity. Application of these new scores showed, for the first time, a complex pattern of abnormal nailfold capillaries in patients with VWF. Capillary dropout was evident in 7/10 patients, with an associated disarrangement in nailfold capillary polarity in five. All 10 controls had normal capillary morphology. Tortuosity of the capillary loops and elongation of their length was observed in 30% of patients. These significant morphological alterations seen in VWF suggest a local small-vessel vasculitis.
- Raynaud Phenomenon