Our observations confirm the high frequency of the specific capillaroscopic changes of the fingers in SSc, which have been found in 97.2% of the cases from the studied patient population. We have performed for the first time capillaroscopic examinations of the toes in SSc. Interestingly,“scleroderma type” capillaroscopic pattern was also found at the toes in a high proportion of patients - 66.7%, but it is significantly less frequent as compared with fingers (97.2%, p<0.05). In our opinion, the examination of the toes of SSc patients should be considered as it suggests an additional opportunity for evaluation of the microvascular changes in these patients although the observed changes are in a lower proportion of cases.
Thus, capillaroscopic examination is a cornerstone for the very early diagnosis of SSc. Patients with clinical symptoms of peripheral vasospasm (Raynaud’s phenomenon (RP)) in association with puffy fingers and/or sclerodactyly should be carefully examined. Hence, appearance of “scleroderma” type capillaroscopic changes in RP patients should be interpreted in the clinical context, because some of the components of this pattern may be observed in several other connective tissue diseases such as mixed connective tissue disease, undifferentiated connective tissue disease that are termed “scleroderma-like” capillaroscopic changes. Capillaroscopic examination is an obligatory screening method in these cases, but the pathologic capillaroscopic changes are not specific and their interpretation is in clinical context.