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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2013 Mar-Apr;31(2 Suppl 76):57-63. Epub 2013 Jul 22.

Associations between a scleroderma-specific gastrointestinal instrument and objective tests of upper gastrointestinal involvements in systemic sclerosis.

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  • 1University of California Medical Center, Los Angeles, USA.



UCLA-SCTC-GIT 2.0 is an instrument designed to evaluate gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in systemic sclerosis (SSc). The objective of our study was to assess the associations between the upper GI (UGI) symptom scales (reflux and distention/bloating [D/B] scales) versus objective/laboratory studies.


Fifty-five patients with SSc were enrolled at 2 centres. Each patient completed the GIT 2.0 and had objective and laboratory tests. Correlations were assessed using the Spearman's test. We also assessed the average scores in patients with positive vs. negative tests and compared them using the t-test and Wilcoxon test.


The mean (SD) age was 53.6 (11.8), 90% were women and 49% had limited SSc. The mean reflux and D/B scores were 0.82 and 1.25, respectively (moderate severity). The reflux scale had moderate correlations with upper GI objective evaluations (correlation coefficient ≥0.40) and was able to differentiate between patients with endoscopy proven esophagitis and manometric abnormalities (p=0.01 for both). D/B scores were numerically higher in patients with abnormal objective tests. The GIT 2.0 reflux and D/B scales had a high sensitivity ranging from 80% to 94% but very low specificity (range; 0-20%) based on objective gold standard GI measures.


The GIT 2.0 reflux and D/B scales have a high sensitivity (range 80-94%) for UGI involvement. The GIT 2.0 instrument complements the objective tests for assessment of the UGI.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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