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Rheumatol Int. 2008 Sep;28(11):1165-8. doi: 10.1007/s00296-008-0586-8. Epub 2008 Apr 24.

Systemic sclerosis associated with generalized vasculitis and hypopituitarism.

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Department of Dermatology, 'Tzanio' General Hospital, Tzani 1, 185 36 Piraeus, Greece.


Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a progressively evolving multisystemic disorder of unknown etiology. Beyond skin, several other organs can also be affected with a severity of involvement that is often heterogeneous. We describe a 53-year-old female patient who was admitted urgently to the hospital almost collapsed, because of numerous bleeding deep skin ulcers, located all over the body. Clinical findings and autoantibody screening were typical of SSc. Moreover, both histopathology and immunofluorescence findings were compatible with scleroderma and vasculitis as well. In addition, pituitary hormone investigation revealed severely damaged function of the gland. We assume that severe skin ulceration and serious hypopituitarism were both implications of underlying SSc-associated vasculitis. To the best of our knowledge, these peculiar clinical manifestations have not been described in the international literature to date.

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