OBJECTIVES: The level of detail included when describing nailfold videocapillaroscopy (NVC) methods varies among research studies, making interpretation and comparison of results challenging. The overarching objective of the present study was to seek consensus on the reporting standards in NVC methodology for clinical research in rheumatic diseases and to propose a pragmatic reporting checklist.
METHODS: Based on the items derived from a systematic review focused on this topic, a three-step web-based Delphi consensus on minimum reporting standards in NVC was performed among members of the European League against Rheumatism (EULAR) Study Group on Microcirculation in Rheumatic Diseases and the Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium.
RESULTS: A total of 319 articles were selected by the systematic review, and 46 items were proposed in the Delphi process. This Delphi exercise was completed by 80 participants from 31 countries, including Australia and countries within Asia, Europe, North America and South America. Agreement was reached on items covering three main areas: patient preparation before NVC (15 items), device description (5 items) and examination details (13 items).
CONCLUSION: Based on the available evidence, the description of NVC methods was highly heterogeneous in the identified studies and differed markedly on several items. A reporting checklist of 33 items, based on practical suggestions made (using a Delphi process) by international participants, has been developed to provide guidance to improve and standardize the NVC methodology to be applied in future clinical research studies.