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Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2005 Oct-Dec;18(4):761-70.

Significant changes of peripheral perfusion and plasma adrenomedullin levels in N-acetylcysteine long term treatment of patients with sclerodermic Raynauds phenomenon.

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Department of Clinical Medicine, U.O.C Clinical Immunology and Allergology, University of Rome, La Sapienza, Italy.


The unclear pathogenesis of scleroderma vascular lesions makes treatment of Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) in Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) patients very difficult and a new effective treatment is requested. Recently, a powerful antioxidant agent, the N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has been shown to decrease the frequency and severity of RP in SSc patients. Subsequently, using functional infrared imaging, we showed that a single 1-hour NAC infusion in these patients caused a significant increase of skin temperature. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the efficacy of long term therapy with NAC in an open clinical trial evaluating clinical, instrumental and laboratory parameters. Patients started the treatment receiving for two years, from October to May, intravenous NAC infusions of 15 mg/kg per hour each, for 5 consecutive hours, every two weeks. Before and after each infusion, patients underwent both Laser Doppler perfusion Imaging (LDPI) for the evaluation of the digital perfusion and a blood test to ascertain the plasma adrenomedullin (AM) levels. The NAC infusion increased global hands perfusion and induced a significant decreasing of plasma AM concentrations. Side effects were negligible, easy to control and reversible. Reduction of frequency and severity of RP attacks was recorded. In conclusion, NAC seems to act as an effective vasodilatator in the treatment of RP secondary to SSc and, in addition, it induced significant changes in plasma levels of AM, a potent vasodilator endothelial-derived peptide.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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