Upper Extremity Angiographic Patterns in Systemic Sclerosis: Implications for Surgical Treatment

Jacinta Leyden, Matthew B Burn, Victor Wong, Daniel Sotelo Leon, Yukitoshi Kaizawa, Lorinda Chung, James Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Conventional angiography is often used in the preoperative work-up of hand surgery patients with systemic sclerosis. The goal of this study was to propose a classification system based on the pattern of arterial involvement in a series of upper extremity angiograms. The authors hypothesized that this classification system would demonstrate high inter- and intrarater reliability.

METHODS: A retrospective review of 110 upper extremity angiograms in patients with systemic sclerosis (obtained between 1996 and 2017) was performed. Images were classified into 4 types based on the patency of the radial and ulnar arteries at the wrist, and into 3 subtypes based on the patency of the superficial and deep palmar arches. Classification reliability was compared with Fleiss' Kappa (for inter-rater) and Cohen's (for intrarater) coefficient between 4 fellowship-trained hand surgeons and a hand fellow.

RESULTS: The inter-rater reliability between all 5 observers using types alone was 0.83 (0.80-0.85), whereas the inter-rater reliability using subtypes was 0.64 (confidence interval [CI] 95%, 0.62-0.65). The intrarater reliability using types alone ranged from 0.80 to 0.95, whereas intrarater reliabilities using subtypes were 0.81 (CI 95%, 0.72-0.90), 0.78 (CI 95%, 0.69-0.87), 0.87 (CI 95%, 0.80-0.95), 0.64 (CI 95%, 0.53-0.75), and 0.92 (CI 95%, 0.86-0.98) for the 4 attendings and a hand fellow, respectively. Fifty-seven percent of angiograms were interpreted as having loss of ulnar artery patency at the wrist (type 2) with 77% having additional loss of superficial palmar arch patency (type 2A).

CONCLUSIONS: This large series of angiograms in patients with systemic sclerosis demonstrates a classification system for conventional angiography that shows high inter-rater and intrarater reliability using type alone. When subtypes were used, the inter-rater and intrarater reliabilities decreased to moderate and moderate-to-high, respectively.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: This study represents the first step in establishing a classification system that, by grouping patients with similar angiogram findings, may allow for targeted research into risk stratification, monitoring, and treatment in systemic sclerosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
StateE-pub ahead of print - Feb 20 2019


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