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July 2013 Scleroderma News

Agonistic anti-ICAM-1 antibodies in scleroderma (SSc): Activation of endothelial pro-inflammatory cascades. Anti-endothelial cell antibodies (AECA) from SSc patients target specific endothelial antigens including ICAM-1, and cause pro-inflammatory activation of human endothelial cells, suggesting that they are not only a marker of disease but that they contribute to its progression. PubMed, Vascul Pharmacol, 2013 May 16.S1537-1891(13)00071-2. (Also see Antibodies in Systemic Scleroderma and Causes of Scleroderma: Endothelin)

Systemic sclerosis and the gut. GI complications are common, second only to skin involvement, and affect up to 90% of systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients. PubMed, Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2013 May;7(4):331-9. (Also see Scleroderma Gastrointestinal Involvement)

A case of cutaneous lichen sclerosus et atrophicus (LSA) effectively treated by extracorporeal photochemotherapy (ECP). The fact that ECP is effective in LSA, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), erosive lichen planus, and scleroderma strengthen the hypothesis that there is a common link between these four conditions. Wiley. Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine, 7 May 2013. (Also see Lichen Sclerosus and Graft-Versus-Host Disease)

Graft-versus-host disease of the skin and adjacent mucous membranes. The incidence of GVHD has been rising in the last decade and care and therapy of patients requires an interdisciplinary approach with dermatology in a key position. Wiley. Journal of The German Society of Dermatology, 30 May 2013. (Also see Graft Versus Host Disease)

Early systemic sclerosis (SSc): marker autoantibodies and videocapillaroscopy patterns are each associated with distinct clinical, functional and cellular activation markers. Autoantibody and microvascular patterns in early SSc may each be related to different clinical-preclinical features and circulating activation markers at presentation. Arthritis Research & Therapy, 29 May 2013, 15:R63 (Also see Antibodies in Systemic Scleroderma and Nailfold Videocapillaroscopy)

Scleroderma (SSc) pathogenesis: a pivotal role for fibroblasts as effector cells. This article highlights the potentially important place of fibroblasts effector cells in fibrosis. Arthritis Research & Therapy 06/17/2013. (Also see Causes of Scleroderma: Fibroblasts)

Correlations between angiogenic factors and capillaroscopic patterns in systemic sclerosis. Our data revealed decreased endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) counts and increased VEGF levels in patients with the late-NVC pattern. Arthritis Research & Therapy, 04/19/2013. (Also see Capillaroscopy)

Incidence of Thyroid Disorders in Systemic Sclerosis: Results from a Longitudinal Follow-Up. The study shows a high incidence of new cases of hypothyroidism and thyroid dysfunction in female sclerodermic patients who are at high risk (a borderline high, even if in the normal range) who should have periodic thyroid function follow-up. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, June 18, 2013. (Also see Thyroid Diseases)

Evidence-based detection of pulmonary arterial hypertension in systemic sclerosis: the DETECT Study. The novel, evidence-based DETECT algorithm for PAH detection in SSc is a sensitive, non-invasive tool which minimises missed diagnoses, identifies milder disease and addresses resource usage. Ann Rheum Dis, 2013-203301. (Also see Diagnosis of Pulmonary Hypertension)

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