The microvascular and morphostructural changes of nails in psoriatic patients with nail disease; a link between ultrasound and videocapillaroscopy findings in the nailfold

Sibel Bakirci Ureyen, Rabia Oztas Kara, Zeynep Erturk, Mahizer Yaldiz


Objective: The objective of this study is to evaluate the link between nail fold vessel resistive index (NVRI) measured by ultrasound (US) and capillary loops diameters measured using nailfold videocapillarascopy (NVC), and to assess the morphological appearance of the nail bed in patients with psoriatic nail disease (PND) as compared with healthy controls (HCs).

Material and methods: This study was conducted in patients with PND and HCs. General demographic data were collected and clinical assessments were performed for all subjects. The nail plate thickness (NPT) was measured on gray scale using US. The NVRI was measured using color Doppler (CD) US. The measurements of the apical, arterial, venous limb diameters and morpho-structural changes (tortuous, cross-linked capillaries) were assessed using NVC.

Results: Thirty-four patients with PND and 15 HCs were enrolled in this study. The two groups were matched for age and body mass index (BMI). Patients with PND had higher NPT and NVRI in comparison with HCs [(20 (17-23) vs 14 (14-15), p<0.001), (0.55 (0.51-0.61) vs 0.43 (0.38-0.49), p<0.001), respectively]. A higher proportion of patients with PND had tortuous capillaries than HCs (62% and 20% respectively, p=0.005). The mean NVRI was higher in patients with PND who had tortuous capillaries than patients who did not have tortuous capillaries (0.58 (0.7) and 0.52 (0.09), respectively p=0.033).

Conclusion: Microvascular changes can be detected easily using non-invasive methods such as US and NVC. These methods can provide an objective data to better assess PND.


psoriasis; nail; ultrasound; capillaroscopy; nailfold resistive index

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