Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 37, Issue 10, pp 2723–2729 | Cite as

Long-term follow-up of nailfold videocapillaroscopic changes in dermatomyositis versus systemic sclerosis patients

  • C. Pizzorni
  • M. CutoloEmail author
  • A. Sulli
  • B. Ruaro
  • A. C. Trombetta
  • G. Ferrari
  • G. Pesce
  • V. Smith
  • S. Paolino
Original Article


To identify nailfold videocapillaroscopy (NVC) changes in patients with dermatomyositis (DM) during a 3-year follow-up and to compare the NVC findings between DM and systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients at their first visit. Retrospective study of 24 DM and 24 SSc patients, matched for age and disease duration at first NVC. Capillaroscopic patterns/scores and clinical parameters had been yearly assessed. Nineteen out of 24 DM patients (79%) showed a NVC “scleroderma-like pattern.” No statistically significant variation of all the capillaroscopic scores was observed during the 3-year follow-up. By comparing DM patients with or without anti-Jo-1 positivity, no statistically significant difference of the scores of the main capillary parameters was observed at baseline between the groups. Comparing at baseline DM with SSc patients, the giant capillary and microhemorrhage scores were significantly higher in SSc than those in DM patients (p = 0.04 and p = 0.05, respectively), while capillary density, ramification (abnormally shaped capillaries, expression of angiogenesis), and disorganization scores were higher in DM patients (p = 0.05, p = 0.002, p = 0.004, respectively). The absolute number of ramified capillaries was significantly higher in DM patients (p = 0.002), while the absolute capillary number was significantly higher in SSc patients (p = 0.05) at baseline. This pilot study demonstrates, for the first time, over long-term, that the capillaroscopic manifestations of DM persist in contrast to the progressive changes described in SSc patients, and the anti-Jo-1 positivity does not seem to modify the NVC pattern.


Anti-Jo1 antibodies Dermatomyositis Microcirculation Nailfold capillaroscopy Systemic sclerosis 



M. Cutolo, C. Pizzorni, B. Ruaro, V. Smith, and A. Sulli are members of the EULAR study group on microcirculation in rheumatic diseases.

Compliance with ethical standards



Ethical standards

This retrospective study has been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments, and was evaluated from the local IRB.


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Copyright information

© International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Pizzorni
    • 1
  • M. Cutolo
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Sulli
    • 1
  • B. Ruaro
    • 1
  • A. C. Trombetta
    • 1
  • G. Ferrari
    • 1
  • G. Pesce
    • 2
  • V. Smith
    • 3
  • S. Paolino
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Laboratory and Academic Division of Clinical Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, San Martino Polyclinic HospitalUniversity of GenovaGenoaItaly
  2. 2.Autoimmunity Laboratory, Department of Internal Medicine, San Martino Polyclinic HospitalUniversity of GenovaGenoaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Rheumatology, Ghent University Hospital, Department of Internal MedicineGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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