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Colour duplex sonography of finger arteries in vasculitis and in systemic sclerosis
  1. W A Schmidt,
  2. D Wernicke,
  3. E Kiefer,
  4. E Gromnica-Ihle
  1. Medical Centre for Rheumatology Berlin-Buch, Karower Str 11, 13125 Berlin, Germany
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr W A Schmidt{at}


Case reports: Three patients—two with Wegener’s granulomatosis and one with an overlap syndrome of rheumatoid vasculitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and antiphospholipid syndrome—are described. All patients experienced a sudden onset of Raynaud’s phenomenon or acrocyanosis when they had a flare of their disease.

Discussion: Ultrasonography (US) showed dark (hypoechoic) arteries without colour signals, resembling the US pattern of embolism. In contrast, US in patients with systemic sclerosis is entirely different, delineating a smaller artery lumen, reduced pulsation, and thickened, slightly hyperechoic artery walls.

  • CCP, cyclic citrullinated peptide
  • CRP, C reactive protein
  • ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation rate
  • MCP, metacarpophalangeal
  • MTP, metatarsophalangeal
  • PIP, proximal interphalangeal
  • US, ultrasonography
  • ultrasonography
  • Wegener’s granulomatosis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • systemic sclerosis
  • antiphospholipid syndrome

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  • Conflict of interest: None.