Raynaud's features in childhood. Clinical, immunological and capillaroscopic study.J Mal Vasc. 1992; 17(4):273-6.JM
Raynaud's phenomenon, uncommon in childhood, often heralds connective tissue disorder. Since microvascular abnormalities can be detected at an early stage of the connective tissue disease, especially in scleroderma, a specific diagnosis can be made in patients presenting with Raynaud's phenomenon alone or Raynaud's phenomenon associated with symptoms suggestive of connective tissue disease. Raynaud's phenomenon was studied in 11 consecutive children, 10 girls and 1 boy, ages 6 to 15. One child had a definite diagnosis of cutaneous polyarteritis nodosa. In 6 others connective tissue disease was suspected: 4 had arthritis, 2 has telangiectasia, leg ulcers and antinuclear antibodies. Of the remaining 4, one had hemiplegia and 3 Raynaud's phenomenon only. Oscillometry of the radial artery was reduced in 7 of 9. Decreased capillary resistance was found in 2 of 6, while abrupt thinning in conjunctival vessels was seen in 3 of 7. On nailfold capillaroscopy, reduced vascularity was noted in 5 of 11, dilated capillaries in 4 of 11, tortuousity in 2 of 11, capillary thinning in 1 of 11, capillary spasm in 1 of 11 and normal pattern in 3 of 11. Two patients presenting with Raynaud's phenomenon were found to have "scleroderma-like pattern" on nailfold capillaroscopy. One of them died 2 years later of cardiopulmonary sclerosis, and another developed esophageal stricture and Barrett's esophagus. Neither has sclerodermatous skin. In childhood Raynaud's phenomenon, nailfold capillaroscopy is a non-invasive examination enabling early diagnosis of "systemic scleroderma sine scleroderma".