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21 July 2017

posted Jul 21, 2017, 12:11 AM by Beck Lockwood   [ updated Jul 21, 2017, 2:35 AM ]

Testing for Raynaud's in Leeds

A mobile clinic to test people for signs of Raynaud’s, was held in Leeds last month.

Set up on Briggate between 26 June and 2 July, the clinic was set up by the national charity Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK (SRUK), and run by Francesco Del Galdo, who leads the NIHR DEC Leeds Scleroderma Diagnostics programme.

Passers-by were able to drop into the clinic and have a quick, non-invasive test for Raynaud's. Called a caplilaroscopy, the test involves placing a finger under a strong microscope which shows the blood vessels under the skin. Clinicians looked at the shape and size of these blood vessel capillaries to determine if they have Raynaud's and whether they are at risk of developing scleroderma.

People who showed signs of Raynaud's or an underlying condition received further medical information, and a referral letter from Dr. Del Galdo to hand to their GP – this letter will enable them to attend the Leeds Raynaud's clinic for further testing.

Everyone who visited the clinic got to take away a photo of their capillaroscopy, and the results from their test, as well as information about Raynaud's and the work of the charity.

Dr Francesco Del Galdo, from the University of Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine and consultant rheumatologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This pilot testing programme in Leeds is critical in helping to raise awareness of the need for greater investment in to research for Raynaud's and Scleroderma, and we're hoping the data we gather could help us develop better diagnostic tests and treatments, saving time to the patients and money to the NHS."

The data gathered from the clinic will also be used in a research study being undertaken by Dr. Francesco Del Galdo to give us better information about the number of people affected by Scleroderma and Raynaud's in the UK. This will include using the data to feed the health economic model built with NIHR DEC Leeds to evaluate Raynaud’s testing within the Raynaud’s patient pathway. This is the first research project looking at providing evidence-based data on a mass scale and will be pivotal in helping SRUK create change for people affected by the conditions.