Objectives: Use of imaging tools can detect some specific pathological changes associated with systemic lupus erythematous (SLE). This study aimed to investigate the relationship between capillaroscopic symptoms and the severity of SLE.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out on 56 patients with SLE undergoing capillaroscopy referred to Rasool-e Akram hospital in Tehran in 2018. Capillaroscopy findings were assessed according to demographic characteristics and duration of disease.
Results: All patients had at least one positive finding related to capillaroscopy. Regarding capillaroscopic findings, abnormal microvascular structure in 37.5%, decreased vascular density in 78.6%, enlarged cap loop in 32.1%, microhemorrhage in 16.1% and neoangiogenesis in 25.0% were observed. The results revealed higher vascular density loss in women and higher neoangiogenesis in affected men and higher rate of abnormal microvascular structure at older ages and microhemorrhage at younger ages. Direct relationship was also found between duration of disease and microhemorrhage.
Conclusion: Almost all patients with SLE undergoing capillaroscopy had at least one pathophysiological change in the capillary bed. The most common pathophysiological change was decreased vascular density, abnormal microvascular structure and capillary loop enlargement.
Systemic lupus erythematous, Pathophysiology, Capillaroscopy