Microvascular capillaroscopic abnormalities in rheumatoid arthritis patients

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Microvascular circulation was investigated by nailfold capillaroscopy in 32 patients affected by rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In all the patients elongated and tiny capillaries as well as tortuosity were the main shape abnormalities of the capillary loops. Higher subpapillar venous plexus (SPVP) visibility was evidentiated in patients presenting antinuclear and anti-RANA antibodies. No differences in the capillaroscopic pattern were found between rheumatoid factor positive and rheumatoid factor negative patients. In conclusion, elongated and tortuous capillaries seem to be the main alterations in RA, although they are not specific to the disease and are not correlated with the presence of rheumatoid factor. Higher SPVP visibility may be an expression of the endothelial damage induced by antinuclear antibodies in vessel walls.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-86
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • anti-RANA antibodies
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • nailfold capillaroscopy
  • antinuclear antibodies


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