Quantitative videocapillaroscopy correlates with functional respiratory parameters: A clue for vasculopathy as a pathogenic mechanism for lung injury in systemic sclerosis

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Abstract

© 2018 The Author(s). Background: To determine whether lung involvement is related to microvascular perturbations, nailfold videocapillaroscopy (NVC) was performed in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). Methods: A cross-sectional study was consecutively accomplished in 152 SSc patients. NVC, a pulmonary function test and echocardiography were undergone within a 3-month period. Finally, 134 patients with at least eight NVC (200× magnification) images were selected for quantitative and qualitative examinations. Results: Patients with interstitial lung disease presented lower median capillary density (4.86/mm vs 5.88/mm, p = 0.005) and higher median of neoangiogenesis (0.56/mm vs 0.31/mm, p = 0.005). A higher quantity of neoangiogenesis capillaries was found in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (0.70/mm vs 0.33/mm, p = 0.008). Multivariate linear regression analysis established a correlation between neoangiogenesis and decreased forced vital capacity (FVC) (p < 0.001): for each capillary with neoangiogenesis visualized on average per 1 mm, FVC was 7.3% reduced. In qualitative NVC, a late pattern as defined by Cutolo was also associated with lower FVC (p = 0.018). The number of giant capillaries was associated with reduced diffusion capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO) (p = 0.016); for each giant capillary per 1 mm, DLCO was 11.8% diminished. Conclusions: A good correlation was observed between distinctive quantitative and qualitative NVC features with lung functional parameters such as FVC and DLCO. It is suggested that vasculopathy could play a role in SSc lung involvement.
Original languageEnglish
Article number281
JournalArthritis Research and Therapy
Volume20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2018

Keywords

  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Nailfold videocapillaroscopy
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Scleroderma
  • Systemic sclerosis

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