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April 1967

Capillary Microscopy: Abnormalities in Cystic Fibrosis, Congenital Heart Disease, and Mongolism

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Division of Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics, University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Am J Dis Child. 1967;113(4):439-443. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1967.02090190085006

ATTENTION has recently been directed toward the anatomy and physiology of the microvasculature. In humans, the direct observation of capillaries has been limited to but a few areas, namely, the conjunctivae, ocular fundi, and the skin. Because of its unique anatomic structure, the nailbed affords a readily accessible area for microscopic visualization of the capillaries.

Capillary microscopy was originally described in 1912 by Lombard1 and subsequently reviewed in the pediatric literature by Leader.2 Recently Kontras and Bodenbender3 described abnormal capillary morphology in congenital heart disease and noted its association with blood coagulation defects. Similar studies have also been reported in mongoloid children.2 The present investigation was undertaken to extend these observations and to study the morphology of the nailbed capillaries in children with cystic fibrosis.

Materials and Methods  One hundred and ten children and adolescents were examined. Twenty (age 4 to 16 years) were normal, 23

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