Measurements of the ring size (circumference in millimeters) of the middle phalanx in 22 females suffering from generalized scleroderma (acrosclerosis) were carried out and compared to control measurements in 22 age-matched healthy females. The ring size was increased (p < 0.01) in the patients (mean 52.8 mm; range 45–61) as compared to the controls (mean 49.4 mm; range 46–52). Ring size measurements correlated well (r = 0.71; p < 0.001) with ultrasound measurement of soft tissue thickness over the middle phalanx. Ring size was larger (p < 0.001) in a group of healthy men as compared to female controls. Ring size was not correlated to age in healthy females (r = 0.06; n.s.), whereas it was in 19 healthy men studied (r = 0.78; p < 0.001). The normal range (mean ± 2 SD) for ring size in females was 45.5–53.3 mm; in males ≤ 60 years of age, the range was 48.5–59.2 mm. It is concluded that ring size is suited to quantify soft tissue changes of the digits in acrosclerosis. This method has the advantage of being simple.

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