Faster diagnosis scleroderma

Faster diagnosis scleroderma with Dino-Lite CapillaryScope


If a patient has suspected systemic sclerosis, the Dino-Lite CapillaryScope can be used to make a quick and painless examination of the capillaries in the cuticle. Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd cooperates with rheumatologists to make this a generally used procedure quickly.

Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd is originally a Swiss biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and marketing of orphan drugs on the market. "These are medications for unresolved medical problems which in most cases involves a small group of patients," says brand manager Peter Dingeldein of the Dutch division of Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Systemic sclerosis is one of the rare diseases for which the company is providing a drug. This rare chronic disease is caused by a disordered immune system, which is why this is called an autoimmune disease. In systemic sclerosis healthy tissue gets damaged and creates connective tissue. The vasculopathy is an important characteristic of this disease, that often results in digital ulcers, painful sores on the fingers. Once patients arrive at this stage, this will have major impact on everyday life, as everyday activities, such as buttoning clothes and writing difficult.

Non-invasive investigation

Quote-box-faster-diag-cap-2Dingeldein: "There is increased attention to discover systemic sclerosis as early as possible. The idea is that the sooner you discover the disease, the better it is for the patient because the damage can be limited. If a patient is suspected of systemic sclerosis, then studying the capillaries in the cuticle can provide more information about the diagnosis. This study goes well and fast with a Dino-Lite CapillaryScope. It is a simple, non- invasive and painless test that patients can watch themselves. That is reassuring for many people."

For the examination a drop of oil is placed on the cuticle and the CapillaryScope is placed on that spot. The capillaries in the cuticle are clearly visible with the magnification of 500x and thus any abnormalities suggestive of systemic sclerosis can be examined.
In most cases, the rheumatologist can reassure the patient that there is nothing to worry about. For anomalies it is easy to make a picture or recording with the CapillaryScope to save to the patient's file. At the repeat visit, usually after six months, it can be established whether the situation has improved, remained stable or deteriorated. When a patientis diagnosed with systemic sclerosis the treatment – medication - can begin immediately.

The treatment

Endothelin is the enzyme in the body that constricts blood vessels. In diseases such as systemic sclerosis, an excessive amount of endothelinis produced that ultimately create damage to the vessel walls. Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd is a manufacturer of Tracleer ( the generic name is Bosentanname , ed.). This is a vasodilator drug that inhibits the action of endothelin by blocking the nerve receptors that can bind endotheline which will improve the blood flow. Tracleer does not heal, but prevents worse and helps to stabilize the patient.

This is capillaroscopy:
The investigation of the cuticle with the Dino-Lite CapillaryScope is quick and painless. Click on the link to see a movie, that shows exactly how the research process works.