A multicentre study on the reliability of qualitative and quantitative nail-fold videocapillaroscopy assessment.

Herman M A Hofstee, Erik H Serné, Christopher Roberts, Roger Hesselstrand, Agneta Scheja, Tonia L Moore, Marie Wildt, Joanne B Manning, Anton Vonk Noordegraaf, Alexandre E Voskuyl, Ariane L Herrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. To investigate the inter- and intra-observer reliability of both qualitative and quantitative parameters used in the assessment of nail-fold capillaroscopy images.Methods. Fifty mosaic nail-fold images of healthy controls (n = 10), patients with primary RP (n = 10) and SSc (n = 30) were assessed in random order by two blinded observers on two occasions at centres in Sweden, UK and The Netherlands. Each image was therefore scored by six observers twice.Results. Inter- and intra-observer reliability of quantitative parameters showed substantial to almost perfect agreement [inter- and intra-observer weighted κ's for the number of widened capillaries was 0.75 and 0.87 and giant capillaries was 0.84 and 0.92, intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs) for capillary density was 0.87 and 0.92 and total loop width was 0.94 and 0.98, respectively]. Qualitative parameters including architecture, avascularity, haemorrhage, crossed, ramified and bushy capillaries showed moderate to substantial inter-observer reproducibility (weighted κ ranging from 0.47 to 0.73), and substantial intra-observer repeatability (weighted κ ranging from 0.71 to 0.80), whereas the scoring of tortuous and bizarre capillaries showed poor inter-observer and substantial intra-observer agreement (inter-observer weighted κ's was 0.39 and 0.21 and intra-observer weighted κ's was 0.68 and 0.76, respectively).Conclusion. All quantitative and certain qualitative parameters are highly reliable in terms of inter- and intra-observer agreement. A combination of parameters with the highest reliability should be incorporated into future capillaroscopic scoring systems in studies of prediction and monitoring of SSc spectrum disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-755
JournalRheumatology (Oxford, England)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity


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