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May 1992

Capillary Abnormalities, Raynaud's Phenomenon, and Systemic Sclerosis in Patients With Localized Scleroderma

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(5):630-632. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.01680150060005

• Objectives and Design.—  In vivo capillaroscopic examination was performed on patients with localized scleroderma to determine whether nailfold capillary abnormalities seen in systemic scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) were also present in the localized form. Twenty-seven patients (24 women, three men) were examined by this technique.

Results.—  Only two patients exhibited scleroderma-type nailfold capillary abnormalities similar to those seen in systemic sclerosis. Both patients also suffered from Raynaud's phenomenon and showed evidence of coexisting systemic sclerosis, one on first examination, the other 1.5 years later. Our results are compared with earlier studies reporting such rare coexistence of the two forms of scleroderma. Earlier capillaroscopic work in this disorder is also reviewed.

Conclusions.—  These results suggest that the presence, in a patient with localized scleroderma, of nailfold capillary abnormalities similar to those seen in systemic sclerosis should alert the physician to a possible association with systemic sclerosis.(Arch Dermatol. 1992;128:630-632)

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