OBJECTIVE: To describe nailfold videocapillaroscopy (NVC) features of patients with antisynthetase syndrome (AS) and to investigate possible correlations with clinical and serological features of the disease.
METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed NVC images of 190 patients with AS [females/males 3.63, mean age 49.7 ± 12.8 yrs, median disease duration 53.7 mos (interquartile range 82), 133 anti-Jo1 and 57 non-anti-Jo1-positive patients]. For each patient, we examined number of capillaries, giant capillaries, microhemorrhages, avascular areas, ramified capillaries, and the presence of systemic sclerosis (SSc)-like pattern. Finally, we correlated NVC features with clinical and serological findings of patients with AS. Concomitantly, a historical cohort of 75 patients with antinuclear antibody-negative primary Raynaud phenomenon (RP) and longterm followup was used as a control group (female/male ratio 4.13/1, mean age 53.9 ± 17.6 yrs) for NVC measures.
RESULTS: NVC abnormalities were observed in 62.1% of AS patients compared with 29.3% of primary RP group (p < 0.001). An SSc-like pattern was detected in 67 patients (35.3%) and it was associated with anti-Jo1 antibodies (p = 0.002) and also with a longer disease duration (p = 0.004). Interestingly, there was no significant correlation between the presence of SSc-like pattern and RP, and only 47% of patients with SSc-like pattern had RP.
CONCLUSION: NVC abnormalities are commonly observed in AS, independently from the occurrence of RP. The presence of an SSc-like pattern could allow identification of a more defined AS subtype, and prospective studies could confirm the association with clinical and serological features of AS.