Indian Journal of Dermatology
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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 265-268

Nail unit in collagen vascular diseases: A clinical, histopathological and direct immunofluorescence study

Department of Dermatology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal - 576104, India

Correspondence Address:
Raghavendra Rao
Department of Dermatology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal - 576104
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5154.30291

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Background: Abnormalities of the nail unit are common in patients with connective tissue diseases. Clinical examination of the nail unit, coupled with biopsy of proximal nail fold offers an additional advantage in the diagnosis. Purpose: Our aim was to record clinical changes of the nail unit in connective tissue diseases and to study the histopathological (both H and E and periodic acid Schiff and direct immunofluorescence (DIF) findings of nail-fold biopsy. Materials and Methods: Thirty-eight confirmed cases connective tissue diseases attending skin OPD were enrolled in the study. After detailed clinical examination of the nail unit, a crescentric biopsy was taken from the proximal nail fold (PNF). Histopathological and DIF studies were was carried out. Findings: Nail changes could be demonstrated in 65% connective tissue diseases. Specific histopathological (H and E) and immunofluorescence findings were also encountered in many patients. Conclusion: Clinical examination of the nail unit offers additional clue in the diagnosis of connective tissue diseases. Though DIF of PNF biopsy is useful in the diagnosis, it is not an ideal site for H and E study, as the yield is very low. Limitations: Lack of adequate comparison group and non-utilization of capillary microscopy for the detection of nail fold capillary abnormalities.

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