For this study, researchers wanted to see if there was a link between changes in nail fold video capillaroscopy (NVC) and the existence and severity of interstitial lung disease (ILD) in people with systemic sclerosis. The study looked at 48 people with systemic sclerosis in a cross-sectional fashion (21 patients with ILD). Capillary organization, capillary loss (CL), avascular regions, enlarged and gigantic capillaries, hemorrhages, irregularly shaped capillaries, edema, and intermittent flow were among the NVC properties examined. The researchers looked at the relationship between NVC results and (1) the existence and progression of ILD, as well as (2) the percent predicted of FVC and CO diffusing capacity (DLCO).

Capillary loss and avascular regions were also associated with the existence of ILD (odds ratio, 18.57; 95% CI, 2.17–158.72 [p = 0.008], and odds ratio, 4.64; 95% CI, 1.35–15.91 [p = 0.015], respectively). The connection between CL and ILD was verified by ROC curve analysis (area under the ROC curve, 90.1%; 95% CI, 81.8–91.4). Avascular regions and CL were linked to worse pulmonary function (FVC -18.1% [p = 0.034], DLCO -14.0% [p = 0.013], and FVC -15.3% [p = 0.086], DLCO -12.3% [p = 0.049], respectively). There was no link established between other NVC results and ILD or lung function.

Capillary loss and avascular area were found to have a substantial relationship with the occurrence of ILD, as validated by ROC curve analysis. These findings may support NVC’s predictive function as well as a physiopathology mechanism for ILD based on vascular injury.