Computerized Video-Capillaroscopy Alteration Related to Diabetes Mellitus and Its Complications

  • Giuseppe Lisco
  • Giuseppe Cicco
  • Angelo Cignarelli
  • Gabriella Garruti
  • Luigi Laviola
  • Francesco Giorgino
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1072)


Diabetes mellitus (DM)-associated hyperglycemia contributes to the initiation and progression of chronic microvascular (MIC) and macrovascular (MAC) complications. To carry out early identification of MIC, standardized and inexpensive tests are needed. Computerized nailfold video-capillaroscopy (CNVC) is a noninvasive tool to easily evaluate MIC at the level of the fingers and could be useful to detect the so-called ‘diabetic capillaropathy’. Aim: This was a prospective study using CNVC to examine the prevalence of capillaroscopic patterns in a cohort of type 1 (T1D) and type 2 (T2D) diabetic individuals, and to assess their relationship with the level of glycemic control (HbA1c) and DM-related complications. Results: Nailfold alterations were found to be more prevalent in diabetics, including tortuosity (p < 0.01), avascular zones (p < 0.01), ectasiae (p < 0.01) and capillary with bizarre shape (p < 0.01). At least two of these patterns were found with a higher prevalence in T1D and T2D individuals vs. controls (p < 0.01). Finally, a higher frequency of ‘capillary score’ equal to or higher than 2 points was found to be associated with worse glycemic control, and with the presence of diabetic retinopathy. Conclusions: These results confirm the presence of a ‘diabetic capillaropathy’, and nailfold capillary alterations appear to be related to the level of glycemic control and the existence of MIC, particularly when retinal damage is involved.



Albumin/creatinine ratio


Chronic kidney disease


Computerized nailfold video-capillaroscopy


Capillary score


Diabetes mellitus


Estimated glomerular filtration rate


Glycosylated hemoglobin


Macrovascular complications


Microvascular complications


Not proliferative diabetic retinopathy


Proliferative diabetic retinopathy


Type 1 diabetes


Type 2 diabetes


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe Lisco
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Cicco
    • 1
  • Angelo Cignarelli
    • 1
  • Gabriella Garruti
    • 1
  • Luigi Laviola
    • 1
  • Francesco Giorgino
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Andrology and Metabolic Diseases, Department of Emergency and Organ TransplantationUniversity of Bari Aldo MoroBariItaly

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