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Nailfold capillaroscopy microscopy

nailfold capillaroscopy in raynaud& 39

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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 Raynaud’s phenomenon, a disorder that causes the blood vessels in the fingers and toes to narrow in response to cold temperatures or stress.

During nailfold capillaroscopy, the healthcare provider will use a special microscope called a capillaroscope to examine the capillaries in the nailfold (the skin surrounding the base of the nail). The capillaroscope magnifies the capillaries and allows the healthcare provider to see abnormalities in their structure and function.

To perform nailfold capillaroscopy in a patient with Raynaud’s phenomenon, the healthcare provider will follow these steps:

  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 Raynaud’s phenomenon and help guide treatment decisions.



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