Which physical findings are characteristic of vascular involvement in scleroderma?

Updated: Sep 09, 2019
  • Author: Sergio A Jimenez, MD, MACR, FACP, FRCP(UK Hon); Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Other manifestations of vascular involvement are as follows:

  • Infarction and dry gangrene of the fingers and toes may be caused by severe vasospasm superimposed to structural fibrotic and fibroproliferative vascular narrowing

  • Some studies suggest that patients with systemic sclerosis have an increased risk of coronary atherosclerosis, peripheral vascular disease, and cerebrovascular calcification compared with healthy individuals, and may develop non-atherosclerotic myocardial infarction

  • Nail-fold capillary microscopy demonstrates fewer capillaries than normal (ie, capillary loop drop; see image below) and numerous dilated and tortuous capillary loops

    Fingernail capillary bed demonstrating capillary d Fingernail capillary bed demonstrating capillary dropout with large dilated vessels.

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