Rheumatology clinic

Systemic sclerosis. A complex multisystem disease

ZOE BROWN, Mandana Nikpour

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© roy scott/science source
© roy scott/science source

Abstract

Systemic sclerosis is a rare disease characterised by vascular abnormalities and fibrosis of multiple organs. Proactive screening and follow up for organ-specific complications are important aspects of management.

Article Extract

Systemic sclerosis (SSc), also known as scleroderma, is a rare autoimmune condition with high morbidity and mortality caused by multisystem organ involvement secondary to vasculopathy, fibrosis and immune system alteration.1 SSc is more common in women than men and has an estimated prevalence of 20 per 100,000 population in Australia.1 Over the last few decades, however, there has been an improvement in outcomes and mortality, which has been attributed to better recognition of the disease and proactive screening for organ-specific complications.2,3 This article will discuss the common manifestations of SSc and provide guidance about shared care with rheumatologists for patients with this condition.

Figures

© roy scott/science source
© roy scott/science source