ISSN 2147-9720 | E-ISSN 2148-4279
Case Report
Nailfold capillaroscopy in Buerger’s disease: A useful tool?
1 Division of Rheumatology, Siena University Surgery and Neurosciences Faculty of Medicine, Italy  
Eur J Rheumatol 2014; 1: 81-83
DOI: 10.5152/eurjrheumatol.2014.015
Key Words: Thromboangiitis obliterans, nailfold capillaroscopy, acral skin ulcers

Thromboangiitis obliterans (TAO, or Buerger’s disease) is a rare inflammatory vasculitis that commonly involves small and medium-sized arteries of the extremities of tobacco smokers between the ages of 25 and 50 years. Although the diagnosis is based on the clinical picture and angiographic findings, we studied the microvascular involvement by nailfold capillaroscopy. We evaluated by nailfold capillaroscopy 2 patients with Buerger’s disease, at baseline and after 6 months of tobacco discontinuation and therapy with prostanoids. Both patients presented similar capillaroscopic abnormalities, resembling a scleroderma-like pattern. The microvascular rearrangement was significantly reduced after 6 months of evaluation. The capillaroscopic abnormalities shown in the two patients could be related to thromboangiitis obliterans, and nailfold capillaroscopy could be a useful tool to evaluate disease progression and the response to treatment.


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