Objectives To determine the relation between different pathological capillaroscopic findings and pulmonary function tests in patients with scleroderma.
Methods Retrospective observational study of a cohort of patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) or early SSc (eSSc) followed in Rheumatology Unit of a University Hospital from 1975 to 2011.
Patients who had a nailfold videocapillaroscopy with 120x magnification were selected. The following pathological findings were considered: presence of megacapillaries and/or angiogenesis and loss of capillary density. Capillaroscopic findings were compared with the following values of lung function tests performed in the same year of the capillaroscopy: % predicted forced vital capacity (FVC), DLCO and the FVC/DLCO ratio.
The following variables were also included: sex, type of SSc, presence of digital ulcers, interstitial lung disease (ILD), scleroderma renal crisis (SRC) and pulmonary hypertension determined by echocardiogram. Statistical analysis was performed by T Test to compare the capillaroscopic findings and pulmonary function test. Values of p<0.05 were considered statistical significance.
Results Of all patients (n=136), 84 had at least one videocapillaroscopy. We observed that 92,9% were female, 67% (57/84) had limited SSc, 25,3% (21/84) ILD, 29,8% (25/84) DU and 17,9% (15/84) of patients had PH.
We analyzed the capillaroscopics findings with the lung function parameters. We found that patients with loss of capillary density had worse FVC (87% ± 19,58 vs 101,12% ± 16,06, p <0.01) and DLCO (71,24% ± 21,37 vs. 85,9% ± 19,81, p <0.01). We did not find a relation between alteration in respiratory function tests and the presence of megacapillaries and angiogenesis.
Conclusions Patients with significant loss of capillary density in the nail-fold capillaroscopy showed worst values of FVC and DLCO. Prospective studies are needed to determine if the nail-fold capillaroscopy may be useful to study lung involvement in patients with systemic sclerosis.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared