Capillaroscopy is a diagnostic test designed to evaluate blood circulation within the small capillary loops located at the base of the nails. This examination is typically employed as a screening tool for individuals who exhibit symptoms of Raynaud’s phenomenon.
Rheumatology: Focus and Scope
Rheumatology is a medical specialty that mainly focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases related to the musculoskeletal system. These can include inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid, psoriatic, and spondyloarthritis, as well as degenerative joint diseases like osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia. Rheumatologists also address conditions like connectivitis and vasculitis, which can present symptoms affecting not only the musculoskeletal system but also other organs, including the heart, lungs, skin, and blood vessels. In short, rheumatology deals with a wide range of conditions that affect the body’s connective tissues and joints, and it plays a crucial role in improving the quality of life for patients with these conditions.
Raynaud’s phenomenon is a condition where the blood vessels in the fingers and toes narrow and then widen suddenly due to temperature changes or emotional stress. This disrupts blood flow to the extremities and causes white, cold fingers or toes during the narrowing phase. The widening phase is followed by pain and reddening of the skin, as the blood vessels dilate again.
When Is Capillaroscopy Recommended
Capillaroscopy is recommended for individuals who experience Raynaud’s phenomenon in order to differentiate between those who have it as an isolated condition and those who develop it as a part of an autoimmune disease. Raynaud’s phenomenon can cause problems during winter, particularly in cold weather or when exposed to sudden temperature changes. However, it can also occur in some individuals during the summer, such as in places with strong air conditioning or when handling objects with much lower temperatures than their surroundings.