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Reliability of the quantitative assessment of peripheral blood perfusion by laser speckle contrast analysis in a systemic sclerosis cohort
  1. Valérie Lambrecht1,
  2. Maurizio Cutolo2,
  3. Filip De Keyser1,3,
  4. Saskia Decuman3,
  5. Barbara Ruaro2,
  6. Alberto Sulli2,
  7. Ellen Deschepper4,
  8. Vanessa Smith1,3
  1. 1Department of Rheumatology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium
  2. 2Research Laboratory and Academic Division of Clinical Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
  3. 3Department of Internal Medicine, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
  4. 4Biostatistics Unit, Department of Public Health, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Dr Valérie Lambrecht, Department of Rheumatology, Ghent University Hospital 0K12-IB, De Pintelaan 185, Ghent B-9000, Belgium; valerie.lambrecht{at}ugent.be

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In systemic sclerosis (SSc), microvasculopathy is an important feature, resulting in digital ulcers in 30% of patients with SSc each year.1 ,2 Assessment of microvasculopathy in SSc is of clinical interest mostly for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

Nailfold videocapillaroscopy has in recent years earned its place in SSc as it makes early diagnosis of SSc possible in a Raynaud's population by evaluating morphological capillary abnormalities.3–5 Within an SSc population however, there is need for a technique that can evaluate blood perfusion in a dynamic way, to evaluate evolution of disease and more importantly response to therapy. For the latter, there is no validated technique available so far. Laser speckle contrast analysis (LASCA) is a relatively new technique that measures peripheral blood perfusion (PBP) in real time over a large area, in a non-contact manner, and is less time-consuming; it is thus convenient to implement in daily practice. …

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Footnotes

  • VL, MC and FDK contributed equally

  • Contributors VL, MC, FDK, SD, BR, AS, ED and VS had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Study ideation: VS and MC; study design: VS; acquisition of data: VL and VS; database hygiene: SD; analysis and interpretation of data: VL, VS, SD and ED; manuscript preparation and finalisation: VL, MC, FDK, SD, BR, AS, ED and VS.

  • Funding VS is Senior Clinical Investigator of the Research Foundation—Flanders (Belgium) (FWO). VS was supported by an academic grant for the investigator initiated study: ‘To explore and validate use of laser speckle contrast as biomarker and outcome measure in Systemic Sclerosis’ from Actelion Pharmaceuticals Belgium NV.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the Local Ethical Committee of Ghent University Hospital.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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