Capillaroscopy is an established examination mode in angiology, dermatology and rheumatology.
Several diseases can be recognized
at an early stage by morphological or functional alterations of the capillaries.
In 1982 I collaborated with the Ernst Leitz Company and the Department for Angiology of the University of Bonn (Head: Prof. Dr. med. Gustav Truebestein) to create a laboratory for capillaroscopy based on
current technical components for light microscopy, including lenses for long distance examinations, modified lenses for epi-illumination or epi-flourescence and suitable illumination techniques.
In 1997 an easy method for capillaroscopy was presented based on photographic magnifying lenses with changeable
apertures. To achieve this, Leica-Photar objectives were connected
to a usual laboratory light
microscope. The focal depth and image contrast could be enhanced by closing the iris diaphragm of the respective Photar objective.
This method was capable of examinations and photographic documentations of the paronychial capillaries. The nail fold is a convex structure and its capillaries are situated in various planes. Thus, the life
microscopy and photomicrography of these capillaries could be fundamentally improved when the iris diaphragms of the Photar lenses were appropriately closed.
Variable epi-illumination effects could be achieved by
cold light and flash light sources equipped with optical swan neck cables (Novoflex Macrolight Plus). By using the flash, potential lack of sharpness
caused by vibration or movement could be avoided in photomicrographic images.
Normal capillaries of the nail fold, epi-illumination, Leica Photar 1:2,4 / 12,5 mm, working distance: 8mm,
Novoflex Macrolight Plus, TTL flash
Piper, J.: Utilization of photographic magnifying lenses in clinical capillaroscopy
- an attractive mode in diagnostics and photographic documentation (in German)
Vasomed 9, 194-197, 1997
Copyright: Joerg Piper, Bad Bertrich, Germany, 2010