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January 2016 Scleroderma News

Elucidating the burden of recurrent and chronic digital ulcers (DU) in systemic sclerosis (SSc): long-term results from the DUO Registry. SSc-associated DUs based on the occurrence of DUs over time may help to identify patients in the clinic with a heavier DU burden who could benefit from more complex management to improve their functioning and quality of life. Ann Rheum Dis, 11/26/2015. (Also see Research on Digital Ulcers in Systemic Sclerosis)

A review of the effects of statins in systemic sclerosis (SSc). Statins seemed safe and well tolerated in SSc, although larger longer–term multi–site randomized trials are needed to further determine the role of statins as adjunctive treatment. PubMed, Semin Arthritis Rheum, 11/02/2015. (Also see Statins)

Does ex vivo CD34+ positive selection influence outcome after autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) in systemic sclerosis patients? We demonstrate that CD34+ does not add benefit to the outcome of SSc patient treated with AHSCT and these findings should be further confirmed by prospective randomized trials. PubMed, Bone Marrow Transplant, 12/07/2015. (Also see Stem Cell (Bone Marrow) Transplantation)

Combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema (CPFE) in scleroderma lung disease (SSc-ILD) has a major confounding effect on lung physiology and screening for pulmonary hypertension (PH). The confounding effect of CPFE on measures of gas exchange has major implications for the construction of screening algorithms for PH in SSc-ILD. PubMed, Arthritis Rheumatol, 12/04/2015. (Also see Pulmonary Hypertension Diagnosis)

Advances in pathogenesis and treatment of systemic sclerosis. Immunosuppression is now established as a beneficial approach but balancing risk and benefit is vital, especially for powerful approaches such as autologous stem cell transplantation. PubMed, Clin Med, 2015 Dec;15 Suppl 6:s58-63. (Also see Immunosuppressants and Stem Cell (Bone Marrow) Transplantation)

Combination therapy with Bosentan and Sildenafil improves Raynaud's phenomenon and fosters the recovery of microvascular involvement in systemic sclerosis (SSc). Patients treated with Bosentan + Sildenafil show a significant improvement and this combination therapy may exert a vascular activity achieving an amelioration of the structure of microvasculature in SSc. PubMed, Clin Rheumatol, 12/03/2015. (Also see Tracleer (Bosentan) and Raynaud's Treatments)

Using Marital Status and Continuous Marital Satisfaction Ratings to Predict Depressive Symptoms in Married and Unmarried Women with Systemic Sclerosis. Comparisons of mental health in married and unmarried rheumatic disease patients should include continuously measured marital satisfaction. PubMed, Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken), 11/25/2015. (Also see Marriage, Family and Health)

High frequency ultrasound of skin involvement in systemic sclerosis — a follow-up study. Ultrasound examination of the skin allows for objective assessment of one facet of the complex process of skin fibrosis in early SSc. PubMed, Arthritis Res Ther, 2015 Nov 19;17(1):329. (Also see Skin Fibrosis)

Risk factors for severity and manifestations in systemic sclerosis and prediction of disease course. This review discusses risk factors and markers that predict the disease course and the occurrence of disease manifestations, with an emphasis on major organ involvement. PubMed, Expert Rev Clin Immunol, 2015 Dec 2:1–21. (Also see Systemic Sclerosis: Prognosis and Mortality)

Use of Coils and a Pulmonary Vasodilator to Reduce Pulmonary Hypertension in a Patient with Interstitial Pneumonia and Scleroderma. The improvement of symptoms following use of a supplementary pulmonary vasodilator provides the hope that the chosen treatment could be a viable alternative approach for other similar cases. PubMed, Intern Med, 2015;54(21):2721–6. (Also see Treatments for Pulmonary Hypertension)

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