Background Patients with acrocyanosis are known to display a capillaroscopic pattern characterised by normal/mild reduction of capillary density, microhemorrhages, asymmetrical capillary ectasias with greater width of venular loop and capillary thrombosis (1). At the best of our knowledge, one small series study only as so far reported the occurrence of megacapillaries (i.e. giant capillary: homogeneously enlarged loops with a diameter >50µm) in patients with acrocyanosis (2).
Objectives To investigate the presence of megacapillaries in a cohort of patients with acrocyanosis
Methods We enrolled 71 consecutive patients attending the Videocapillaroscopy Outpatient clinicof the Second University of Naples from 1st January 2011 to 1st June 2012 (median age 45 years, range 18-70) diagnosed to have acrocyanosis (i.e. persistent, symmetrical and painful cyanosis of extremities, triggered by cold, often associated to hyperhidrosis) and 35 control patients affected by osteoarthritis. Nailfold videocapillaroscopy was carried out with optical probes of 200X (VideoCap 2.5).
Results Megacapillaries (maximal loop width 80 µm) were detected in 14 out of 71 patients (19%). In 12 and 2 patients a mean score of 1 (less than 4 megacapillaries / mm) and of 2 (≥4 megacapillaries ≤ 6 / mm) was registered, respectively. In all patients the capillaroscopic alterations already described in patients with acrocyanosis were found : mild reduction of capillary density (mean capillary number 7±1/mm), asymmetrical capillary ectasias with greater width of venular loop, microhemorrhages, capillary thrombosis. In controls rare ectasias were the only capillaroscopic alterations detected.
Conclusions Our study confirms the possible occurrence of megacapillaries in a larger cohort of patients with acrocyanosis. It suggests the need of a careful clinical approach in order to make differential diagnosis between acrocyanosis and Raynaud’s Phenomenon. The patients enrolled will be prospectically followed-up to assess the changes of capillaroscopic scores overtime.
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Disclosure of Interest None Declared