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May 2014 Scleroderma News

Usefulness of pH monitoring in predicting the survival status of patients with scleroderma awaiting lung transplantation. Esophageal pH monitoring could identify those for whom laparoscopic antireflux surgery should be performed quicker to prevent GERD and its detrimental effects in patients awaiting lung transplantation. Journal of Surgical Research, 17 March 2014. (Also see Lung Transplants and Reflux, Heartburn, GERD)

Correlates and responsiveness to change of measures of skin and musculoskeletal disease in early diffuse systemic sclerosis. Physician and patient global assessments have larger correlations with skin measures compared to musculoskeletal measures and skin variables were more responsive to change. PubMed, Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken), 2014 Apr 1. (Also see Skeletal Involvement and Skin Involvement)

A comparison of intense pulsed light and laser treatment of telangiectases in patients with systemic sclerosis: a within-subject randomized trial. Both pulsed dye laser (PDL) and intense pulsed light (IPL) are effective treatments for SSc-related telangiectases. PDL has better outcomes in terms of appearance, although IPL had fewer side effects. PubMed, Rheumatology (Oxford), 2014 Mar 28. (Also see Telangiectasia)

Biomarkers in connective tissue disease-associated interstitial lung disease. Besides autoantibodies, an increase in serum or BALF of a biomarker of pulmonary origin may be able to predict or reflect the development of fibrosis, the impairment of lung function, and ideally also the prognosis. PubMed, Semin Respir Crit Care Med, 2014 Apr;35(2):181-200. (Also see Pulmonary Fibrosis Research and Biomarkers)

Longterm Treatment with Endothelin (ET-1) Receptor Antagonist Bosentan and Iloprost (ILO) Improves Fingertip Blood Perfusion in Systemic Sclerosis (SSc). Long term treatment of SSc patients with ET-1 antagonism, in combination with ILO, seems to increase fingertip blood perfusion, as well as both capillary dilation capacity and number. PubMed, J Rheumatol, 2014 Apr 1. (Also see Bosentan and Treatment for Digital Ulcers: Iloprost)

Increased risk of osteoporotic fractures in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc): a nationwide population-based study. SSc patients had a high increased risk of vertebral and hip fractures, especially those who were female, older, or used a high dose of corticosteroid (> 7.5 mg) or experienced bowel dysmotility. PubMed, Ann Rheum Dis, 2014 Feb 14. (Also see Osteoporosis in Scleroderma and Steroid Warnings for Scleroderma)

Systemic sclerosis (SSc) increases the risks of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE): a nationwide cohort study. SSc patients exhibited a significantly higher risk of developing DVT and PTE compared with the general population and thus multidisciplinary teams should guide the assessment, treatment and holistic care of SSc patients. PubMed, Rheumatology (Oxford), 2014 Apr 8. (Also see Antiphospholipid Syndrome)

A Targeted Treatment for Scleroderma? A monoclonal antibody that binds to the type 1 interferon-alpha receptor showed an acceptable safety profile in a phase I trial for systemic sclerosis, but efficacy was less clear. Med Page Today, 02/27/2014. (Also see Interferon-Alpha)

two cups with bubblesFlipping the switch on scleroderma. This research shows promise for the development of a new drug that can reverse the fibrosis process by flipping the main switch on all of the signaling pathways. Michigan State University, 04/03/2014. (Also see Scleroderma Clinical Trials and Treatments)

Parental Influence on Systemic Sclerosis (SSc). Birth order and maternal/paternal age at conception do not significantly affect SSc development even though heritable risk of SSc is observed. PubMed, Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken), 2014 Apr 22. (Also see Causes of Scleroderma: Genetics)

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