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Cardiac complications of systemic sclerosis: recent progress in diagnosis

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#1 Jeannie McClelland

Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 07:12 AM

Cardiac complications of systemic sclerosis: recent progress in diagnosis. Early detection of scleroderma heart disease will allow exploration of novel therapies with potential positive impact on the quality of life and life expectancy of this patient population. Adel Boueiz. (PubMed) Current Opinion in Rheumatology, 22 July, 2010 (Also see: Cardiac Involvement)

This item was posted in the ISN Newsroom. Please check the newsroom daily for updates on scleroderma and other related articles.
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#2 janey


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Posted 03 September 2010 - 04:20 AM

Thanks Jeannie for this article.

This article again points out the importance of "early diagnosis" which I feel is necessary for any of scleroderma's complications. Shortly after diagnosis I was given an ECHO which showed normal heart function; but another important test that should have been performed was an EKG. In some very rare cases such as mine, scleroderma can affect the conductive (electrical) system of the heart. An EKG can very quickly and in a non-invasive manner identify conductive problems such as heart block, bradycardia (slow HR), and tachycardia (fast HR). When I developed complete heart block 1.5 years after diagnosis, my cardiologist made the comment that we might have been able to have caught the conductive problem earlier with an EKG and corrected the heart block (of which there are 3 levels) before is became a complete heart block (level 3). So I guess my point is that I should have done my homework a little better and suggested an EKG to my rheumatologist. Of course, it turned out that he didn't know that scleroderma could affect the conductive system of heart until it happened to me!!!!!
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