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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 185-191

Nailfold capillaroscopy: A cost effective practical technique using digital microscope

1 Associate Professor, Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Bengaluru, India
2 Professor, Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Army Hospital Research and Referral, New Delhi, India
3 Resident, Aerospace Medicine, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Bengaluru, India
4 Resident, Department of Dermatology, Command Hospital (Air Force), Bengaluru, India

Correspondence Address:
Vivek Vasdev
Associate Professor, Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Bengaluru
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Nailfold capillaroscopy (NFC) is a simple and non-invasive technique for the analysis of microvascular abnormalities seen in various systemic connective tissue diseases (SCTD), especially in systemic sclerosis (SSc) group of disorders. The techniques for NFC have evolved over several decades and nailfold video capillaroscope (NVC) is considered the gold standard tool for NFC. Nailfold video capillaroscope is an expensive equipment and usually not available in most developing countries. Other instruments that have been utilised for NFC are a magnifying lens, an ophthalmo- scope, a dermatoscope, a stereomicroscope and a wide field microscope. Faced by shortcomings of multiple instru- ments, we have innovated a cost effective and simple technique for NFC using a handheld and universal serial bus (USB) digital microscope. This article elaborates on the advantages and disadvantages of various instruments and tech- niques for NFC, with emphasis on our innovative techniques. We recommend USB digital microscope for NFC in clin- ical practice especially for evaluation of scleroderma-related disorders.

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