Nailfold capillaroscopy

The capillaries at the base of the finger nail in the nailfold (nailfold capillaries) are often of abnormal shape and size in patients with systemic sclerosis.

In collaboration with the Centre for Imaging Sciences (Mike Berks, Chris Taylor and Phil Tresadern), we developed a novel capillaroscopy system to produce high magnification panoramic images of nailfold capillaries, allowing measurement of capillary dimensions.

Nailfold Capillary clip 1 Nailfold Capillary clip 2

Nailfold video capillaroscopy images of healthy and abnormal capillaries (small blood vessels) at the nailfold (the base of the fingernail).

The healthy capillaries are regular and show a typical 'hair pin' appearance but the abnormal capillaries (from a patient with systemic sclerosis) are irregular with 'giant' distended capillaries and some haemorrhaging.