Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Superb Microvascular Imaging as a Novel Tool for the Assessment of Blood Flow Velocity in Patients with Systemic Sclerosis: A Single-Center Feasibility Study

Version 1 : Received: 21 November 2021 / Approved: 23 November 2021 / Online: 23 November 2021 (16:15:51 CET)

How to cite: Rademacher, J.; Buschfort, R.M.; Asendorf, T.; Korendovych, V.; Tampe, B.; Korsten, P. Superb Microvascular Imaging as a Novel Tool for the Assessment of Blood Flow Velocity in Patients with Systemic Sclerosis: A Single-Center Feasibility Study. Preprints 2021, 2021110438 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0438.v1). Rademacher, J.; Buschfort, R.M.; Asendorf, T.; Korendovych, V.; Tampe, B.; Korsten, P. Superb Microvascular Imaging as a Novel Tool for the Assessment of Blood Flow Velocity in Patients with Systemic Sclerosis: A Single-Center Feasibility Study. Preprints 2021, 2021110438 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0438.v1).

Abstract

Systemic sclerosis is an autoimmune disease characterized by organ fibrosis and vasculopathy. Almost all patients suffer from Raynaud’s phenomenon (RP). Currently, several imaging techniques are available; nailfold video capillaroscopy (NVC) is the most widely available, but flow quantification is not possible with NVC. Novel imaging techniques are of interest in this population. We performed a single-center feasibility study using Micro Vascular Imaging (MVI) as a novel imaging technique for flow quantification of small fingertip vessels. We compared a group of 20 healthy controls (HCs) with 20 Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) patients. In HCs, flow measurements assessed with MVI were statistically significantly higher in individual fingers and combined for all fingers (p<0.0001). As a cut-off value to discriminate HCs from SSc, a peak systolic (PS) flow velocity of <6.9 cm/s and an end-diastolic (ED) flow velocity of <2.68 cm/s was determined. Test characteristics for PS flow velocity showed moderate sensitivity (0.69, 95% CI 0.58-0.78) but high specificity (0.88, 95% CI 0.79-0.93). Similar test characteristics for ED flow velocity were obtained. The optimal cut-off point was estimated at <2.68 cm/s, sensitivity was moderate (0.65, 95% CI 0.53-0.75), specificity was 0.80 (95% CI 0.70-0.87). Here, we present the first study on the use of MVI to assess blood flow in the fingertips with high specificity in SSc patients. Future studies need to investigate correlations with the risk for organ complications, such as digital ulcers or pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Keywords

Systemic Sclerosis; Raynaud’s phenomenon; ultrasound; microvascular imaging; blood flow

Subject

MEDICINE & PHARMACOLOGY, Other

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