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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2009 Jun;48 Suppl 3:iii19-24. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kep105.

Digital ulcers: overt vascular disease in systemic sclerosis.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20007, USA. steenv@georgetown.edu

Abstract

RP is an almost universal manifestation of SSc, with 95% of all patients being affected, and resulting in digital ulcers (DUs) in approximately 30% of the patients each year. DUs are a major clinical problem, being associated with substantial morbidity (reduced quality of life, pain, disability and disfigurement) that can escalate to gangrene and amputation. Ideally, the treatment of DUs would improve tissue integrity and viability, promote ulcer healing and reduce the formation of new ulcers. Treatments that have shown potential include calcium channel blockers, prostacyclin analogues and endothelin receptor antagonists. However, until recently, management was based on empirical experience. The recent approval (in Europe) of the dual endothelin receptor antagonist, bosentan, to reduce the number of new DUs in patients with SSc and ongoing DU disease, means that there is now an approved therapy--and new hope--for the treatment of DUs in these severely afflicted patients.

PMID:
19487218
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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