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Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2009 Jul;11(3):205-11.

The use of Doppler ultrasound to evaluate lesions of localized scleroderma.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital, Hackensack University Medical Center, 30 Prospect Avenue, Imus PC 350, Hackensack, NJ 07601, USA.


Doppler ultrasound shows great promise for the evaluation of localized scleroderma (LS). Disease-related structural changes, such as tissue thickening, atrophy, and architectural alterations, can be readily detected using ultrasound. High spatial resolution enables monitoring of changes in tissue thickness over the course of disease and treatment. Doppler ultrasound may also aid assessment of disease activity. Both abnormal tissue echogenicity and vascularity levels can represent disease activity in some patients. Because tissue thickness, echogenicity, and vascularity vary with body site and age, accurate ultrasound evaluation of the LS lesion requires comparison to a control site, ideally the contralateral side. Evaluation of deeper tissues is important, as disease involvement may reside primarily below the dermis. Further study is needed to determine the validity, sensitivity, and reliability of ultrasound for LS.

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