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Semin Arthritis Rheum. 1994 Aug;24(1):29-39.

Gastrointestinal manifestations of systemic sclerosis.

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  • 1University of Toronto Rheumatic Disease Unit, Wellesley Hospital, Ontario, Canada.


Gastrointestinal (GI) manifestations of systemic sclerosis (SSc) were found in 82% of 262 patients followed up prospectively. Esophageal dysmotility, lower esophageal sphincter laxity, bacterial overgrowth, and wide mouth diverticuli were the most common findings. The disease is usually diffuse with multiple levels of involvement. Gastrointestinal involvement was not significantly correlated with gender, age at SSc diagnosis or disease type (limited or diffuse scleroderma). Upper GI symptoms develop early in the course of SSc and may not correlate with objective findings. Various investigations, treatment regimens, and less frequent disease manifestations are reviewed and discussed.

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