Systemic sclerosis patients with and without pulmonary arterial hypertension: A nailfold capillaroscopy study

Valeria Riccieri, Massimiliano Vasile, Nicoletta Iannace, Katia Stefanantoni, Iliana Sciarra, Carmine D. Vizza, Roberto Badagliacca, Roberto Poscia, Silvia Papa, Mario Mezzapesa, Martina Nocioni, Guido Valesini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a complication of SSc due to increased vascular resistance, and abnormal vascularity is a well-known feature of the disease as shown by nailfold videocapillaroscopy (NVC). This study investigated for specific NVC changes in SSc patients with and without PAH to assess any useful difference. Methods. Twenty-four SSc patients, 12 with PAH and 12 without, entered the study. Evidence of PAH was defined as increased systolic pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) (≥35 mmHg), indirectly assessed by echocardiography and confirmed by right heart catheterization (mPAP>25 mmHg). NVC was performed, and a semi-quantitative rating scale, a rating system for avascular areas and a specific NVC pattern evaluation, namely early, active and late, were used. Results. An NVC score >1 was more frequently found in patients with PAH than those without, 11 cases (92%) vs 5 cases (42%) (P = 0.03); an avascular areas grade >1 was present in 10 (83%) and 2 (17%) cases, respectively (P = 0.003); and a more severe NC pattern (active/late) was described in 11 (92%) and 5 (42%) patients, respectively (P = 0.03). When we compared the mPAP with NVC parameters, we found significant correlations between mPAP values and the NVC score (P

Original languageEnglish
Article numberket168
Pages (from-to)1525-1528
Number of pages4
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • Nailfold videocapillaroscopy
  • Pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • Systemic sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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