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November 2014 Scleroderma News

Pictorial review of intrathoracic manifestations of progressive systemic sclerosis. Intra-thoracic manifestations of PSS are not well known. The study illustrates the whole spectrum of intrathoracic manifestations of PSS and aims to familiarize the physician and radiologist with these features. Annals of Thoractic Medicine, 4 Sept 2014. (Also see Common Medical Tests)

Is atherosclerosis accelerated in systemic sclerosis (SSc)? Novel insights. Although microvascular disease is a hallmark of SSc, mechanistic insights explaining the presence of accelerated atherosclerosis, and the presence and extent of macrovascular disease in SSc patients are lacking and future challenges will be to unravel the genetic, environmental and ethnic determinants of such processes. PubMed, Curr Opin Rheumatol, 2014 Nov;26(6):653-7. (Also see Atherosclerosis)

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) in connective tissue disease (CTD) - mechanisms and management. Data from treatment trials in systemic sclerosis support the use of immunosuppressive therapy, with the treatment benefit largely relating to the prevention of progression of lung disease. PubMed, Nat Rev Rheumatol, 2014 Sep 30. (Also see Pulmonary Fibrosis Treatments and Connective Tissue Disease)

Evaluation and management of gastrointestinal manifestations in scleroderma (SSc). Patient care is being optimized by close collaboration of rheumatologists and gastroenterologists, leading to a more coordinated approach in the management of gastrointestinal manifestations of SSc. PubMed, Curr Opin Rheumatol, 2014 Nov;26(6):621-9. (Also see Gastrointestinal Involvement)

Performance of the 2013 ACR/EULAR Classification Criteria for Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) in Large, Well-defined Cohorts of SSc and Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD). The 2013 ACR/EULAR SSc criteria were more sensitive than the ACR 1980 criteria. However, the new criteria did not completely segregate SSc from MCTD, making specificity a potential issue. PubMed, J Rheumatol, 2014 Oct 1. (Also see Mixed Connective Tissue Disease)

Recent advances in scleroderma-associated (SSc) - pulmonary hypertension. Although there have been many recent advances in SSc-pulmonary hypertension, further research is needed in order to prevent/cure this deadly complication. PubMed, Curr Opin Rheumatol, 2014 Nov;26(6):637-45. (Also see Pulmonary Hypertension Research)

Low-dose pulse cyclophosphamide (CYC) in interstitial lung disease associated with systemic sclerosis (SSc-ILD): Efficacy of maintenance immunosuppression in responders and non-responders. The study supports the use of low-dose pulse CYC as induction therapy of recently deteriorated SSc-ILD. Moreover, it suggests that azathioprine should be administered to CYC-responsive patients but does not show any definite effect of micophenolic acid in unresponsive patients. ScienceDirect, 09/08/2014. (Also see Immunosuppressants)

Assessment of myocardial fibrosis and microvascular damage in systemic sclerosis (SSc) by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and coronary angiotomography. The prevalence of myocardial fibrosis on MRI attributable to SSc is 45%, is more frequent and severe in diffuse scleroderma, is associated with lower left ventricular ejection fraction and affects mainly basal left ventricular walls. PubMed, Rheumatology (Oxford), 2014 Sep 18. (Also see Diagnosis of Scleroderma Heart Involvement)

Screening of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in women with systemic sclerosis (SSc). This study is the first to evaluate HPV status in women with systemic sclerosis (SSc) and researchers found that HR HPV52 was the most common genotype with a greater multi-HPV infection rate. PubMed, Clin Exp Rheumatol, 2014 Aug 15. (Also see Causes of Scleroderma: Infection)

Development of a Modified Hand Mobility in Scleroderma (HAMIS) Test and its Potential as an Outcome Measure in Systemic Sclerosis (SSc). The mHAMIS involves 4 easily measurable items and has the potential to be a relevant clinical measure of outcome in the evaluation of fibrotic skin involvement in SSc. PubMed, J Rheumatol, 2014 Oct 1. (Also see Hand and Joint Involvement)

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