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Dermatology Research and Practice
Volume 2013, Article ID 781942, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Clinical and Capillaroscopic Modifications of the Psoriatic Plaque during Therapy: Observations with Oral Acitretin

1Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine,Institute of Dermatology, University of Udine, Ospedale “San Michele” di Gemona, Piazza Rodolone 1, Gemona del Friuli, 33013 Udine, Italy
2Department of Medical and Biological Sciences, Institute of Hygiene and Clinical Epidemiology, University of Udine, via Colugna 50, 33100 Udine, Italy

Received 28 June 2013; Accepted 22 August 2013

Academic Editor: Giuseppe Argenziano

Copyright © 2013 Giuseppe Stinco et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Psoriasis is considered to be an inflammatory autoimmune disease, where angiogenesis plays an undefined pathogenetic role. The well-known changes of the superficial microvasculature in the psoriatic plaque can be easily assessed in vivo by videocapillaroscopy. In the last years, several studies reported the clinical and capillaroscopic response of the psoriatic plaque during different topical and systemic treatments. In the present work we evaluated the effects of acitretin (0.8 mg/kg/day) on videocapillaroscopic alterations and the clinical response in 11 patients affected by plaque psoriasis at the baseline (T0) and after 4 (T1), 8 (T2), and 12 (T3) weeks. A clinical improvement during the treatment with a complete clinical healing of the plaque in 7 of the 11 patients was observed. The typical “basket-weave” capillaries of the psoriatic lesions showed a reduction of 65.4% in diameter at the end of the study; only 3 patients returned to a normal capillaroscopic pattern. As observed during previous our studies, we found a discrepancy between clinical and capillaroscopic results, with a far greater improvement in the first than in the second. This finding could be in agreement with a secondary role of blood vessels in the pathogenesis and persistence of psoriatic lesions.