Dynamics of digital ulcers in systemic sclerosis
- Carmen Bobeică
- Alin Laurențiu Tatu
- Mihaela Crăescu
- Laura Solovăstru
Affiliations: Department of Dermato‑Venereology, Doctoral School, University of Medicine and Pharmacy ‘Gr. T. Popa’ Iași, 700115 Iași, Romania, Department of Clinical Dermato‑Venereology, ‘Dunărea de Jos’ University of Galați, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, ReForm UDJ, 800216 Galați, Romania, Department of Morphological and Functional Sciences, ‘Dunărea de Jos’ University of Galați, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, 800216 Galați, Romania, Department of Clinical Dermato‑Venereology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy ‘Gr. T. Popa’, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, 700115 Iași, Romania
- Published online on: February 27, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.8572
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Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a collagenosis with insufficiently known etiopathogenesis, characterized by microvasculopathy and excessive fibrosis in the context of an autoimmune disorder. The incompletely elucidated pathogenesis and limited therapeutic options, disabling aspects, skin lesions and pain determine important functional and psychological deficiencies which affect the quality of life. It is imperative to observe and correlate individual clinical and paraclinical data to optimize disease management. A group of 22 patients diagnosed with SSc, hospitalized in a university clinic in Bucharest was included in an observational study. The evolution of digital ulcers was evaluated as an indicator of vasculopathy and their status and dynamics were correlated with clinical elements reflecting the fibrotic aspect of the disease. The present study shows that the Raynaud phenomenon is almost always present during the course of the disease, but its presence is not always associated with digital ulcers. The existing data in the literature show that fibrosis is subsequent to vasculopathy, but this study did not reveal causality between these two aspects of pathogenesis. The presence of microstomia and digital contracture was identified in the presence of digital ulcers, but also in their absence. The etiopathogenic mechanisms with multiple unknown involved factors open the opportunity to investigate many aspects of SSc for optimal aiming of therapeutic interventions.