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nailfold capillaroscopy in diabetes mellitus

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Nailfold capillaroscopy is a non-invasive procedure used to evaluate the small blood vessels (capillaries) in the skin around the nails. It is often used to diagnose and monitor systemic sclerosis, a connective tissue disorder that affects the skin, blood vessels, and internal organs.

In people with diabetes mellitus, nailfold capillaroscopy may be used to monitor for the development of microvascular complications, which are disorders that affect the small blood vessels in the body. These complications can include damage to the capillaries in the skin, as well as damage to the blood vessels in the eyes, kidneys, and nerves.

To perform nailfold capillaroscopy in people with diabetes mellitus, a healthcare provider will follow the same steps as for any other patient:

  1. Gather the necessary equipment and supplies, including a capillaroscope, lubricant, and cotton balls or gauze.
  2. Clean the skin around the nails with an antiseptic solution.
  3. Apply a drop of oil or other lubricant to the nailfold.
  4. Gently press on the nailfold with the capillaroscope to make the capillaries more visible.
  5. Examine the capillaries using the capillaroscope, looking for abnormalities such as dilated or damaged capillaries, capillary loop abnormalities, and changes in capillary density.
  6. Document the findings in the patient’s medical record.
  7. Clean and sterilize the equipment and dispose of any hazardous materials according to established protocols.

Nailfold capillaroscopy is a safe and painless procedure with minimal risks. It is usually performed as an outpatient procedure and takes only a few minutes to complete. It can provide valuable information about the severity and progression of microvascular complications in people with diabetes mellitus and help guide treatment decisions.



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