SCLERO.ORG is retiring 4-24-2021. Thank you for the memories! You'll still find us in the Wayback Machine, and we'll carry your stories in our hearts forever.

Dysmotility Syndrome in Systemic Scleroderma

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Correlation with other Complications


Abstract PaintingDysmotility syndrome refers to muscles in the gastrointestinal tract not working properly. This can include the throat (esophagus), stomach, and bowels.

When the stomach is affected, it is often called gastroparesis.

When it affects the bowels, it may be called intestinal pseudo-obstruction. (Also see Esophagus, Gastroparesis, Scleroderma Gastrointestinal Involvement, What is Scleroderma?, Types of Scleroderma, and Systemic Sclerosis

Dysmotility syndrome is a vague, descriptive term used to describe diseases of the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines) in which the muscles do not work normally (hence the term dysmotility). Other terms that are sometimes used for dysmotility problems are gastroparesis when the stomach is involved, and chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction when the intestines and stomach are involved. MedicineNet.

What are Dysmotilities? Symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, and support. Gastroparesis and Dysmotilities Association.


Anorectal Motility and Sensation Abnormalities and Its Correlation with Anorectal Symptoms in Patients with Systemic Sclerosis (SSc): A Preliminary Study. Eight SSc patients and matched controls were queried about their GI dysmotility symptoms and quality of life (QoL) and underwent anorectal motility and sensory tests. ISRN Gastroenterology.


The role of high-resolution manometry in the assessment of upper gastrointestinal involvement in systemic sclerosis: a systematic review. Esophageal body dysmotility on HRM positively correlates with the presence of interstitial lung disease. PubMed, Clin Rheumatol, 11/11/2019. (Also see Correlation between Pulmonary Fibrosis and other Diseases)

Anti-RNPC3 (U11/U12) antibodies in systemic sclerosis are associated with moderate to severe gastrointestinal dysmotility. After adjusting for relevant covariates and potential confounders, moderate to severe GI disease was associated with anti-RNPC3 antibodies. PubMed, Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken), 09/22/2018. (Also see Antibodies)

Intestinal Motility Disorders Differential Diagnoses. Failure to make the correct diagnosis of an intestinal motility disorder is a medicolegal pitfall, especially in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), because several cancers of the digestive tract mimic this condition, even in late stages. Medscape.

Treatment and Management of Dysmotility

Factors associated with esophageal motility improvement after bilateral lung transplant (LTx) in patients with an aperistaltic esophagus. Patients with esophageal aperistalsis and obstructive lung disease or pulmonary arterial hypertension, but not patients with restrictive lung disease and scleroderma, are likely to have improved esophageal peristalsis post-LTx. PubMed, J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg, 2021 Jan 9;S0022-5223(21)00027-1. (Also see Lung Transplants)

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) Improves Upper GI Symptoms and Balances the Sympathovagal Activity in Scleroderma Patients. TENS at GI acupoints offers a potential option in the treatment of upper GI symptoms, but further study is necessary. PubMed, Dig Dis Sci.

Systematic review: pathophysiology and management of gastrointestinal dysmotility in systemic sclerosis. Lifestyle and medical therapy approaches are preferred as they often improve and/or ameliorate symptoms. Surgery is only recommended with serious, rare complications. Alternative therapies such as acupuncture-based therapies are well tolerated, with clinical improvement and may be of potential therapeutic benefit for systemic sclerosis gastrointestinal dysmotility. PubMed, Aliment Pharmacol Ther.

Domperidone Warning

FDA Alert: Detention without Physical Examination of Domperidone, brands names Motilium, Euciton, Cilroton, Praxis, Seronex, Emiken. Domperidone is not approved for any use in the U.S. There have been several published reports and case studies of cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac arrest and sudden death in patients receiving an intravenous form of domperidone. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Correlation of Dysmotility with other Complications

Thyroid disorders and gastrointestinal and liver dysfunction: A state of the art review. In this review, we discuss disorders of the thyroid-gut axis and identify the evidence base behind the management of such disorders. PubMed, Eur J Intern Med. (Also see Thyroid Disease and Liver Involvement)

Patient and Caregiver Stories

Amanda: Diffuse Scleroderma Systemic Sclerosis I am thirty-nine years old and was diagnosed with diffuse scleroderma systemic sclerosis in August 2007…


Evaluation and Management of Esophageal Manifestations in Systemic Sclerosis (SSc). This review summarizes our knowledge concerning the evaluation and management of esophageal manifestations in SSc patients, including emerging therapeutic modalities. PubMed, Ann Gastroenterol, Mar-Apr 2018;31(2):165-170. (Also see Scleroderma Clinical Trials)

Possible implications of TGF-alpha in eosophageal dysmotility in systemic sclerosis (SSc). These results point to a possible relation between TGF-a and oesophageal dysmotility in SSc, which is intriguing and requires further investigation. PubMed, Clin Exp Rheumatol.

Go to Dysphagia (Difficulty Swallowing)

SCLERO.ORG is the world's leading nonprofit for trustworthy research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses. We are a 501(c)(3) U.S.-based public charitable foundation, established in 2002. Meet Our Team. Donations may also be mailed to:

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
7455 France Ave So #266
Edina, MN 55435-4702 USA
Email [email protected]. Disclaimer. Privacy Policy.