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Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 Aug;76(8):1327-1339. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-209909. Epub 2016 Nov 9.

Update of EULAR recommendations for the treatment of systemic sclerosis.

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Department of Rheumatology and Internal Medicine, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland.
Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Rheumatology A Department, Cochin Hospital, Paris Descartes University, Paris, France.
University Hospital Charité, Berlin, Germany.
University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Research Laboratories and Clinical Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Genova, IRCCS AOU San Martino, Genova, Italy.
Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Medical Center, University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary.
University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.
University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.
University College London, London, UK.
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.
Hamburg Centre for Pediatric and Adolescence Rheumatology, Hamburg, Germany.
FESCA, London, UK.
University of Giessen, Bad Nauheim, Germany.
University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.
University of Michigan School of Medicine, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
University of Manchester, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, UK.
NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK.
Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany.
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, USA.
Ghent University Hospital, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
Basel University, Basel, Switzerland.
FESCA Patient Research Partner, The Netherlands.
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy.
University of Padua, Padua, Italy.


The aim was to update the 2009 European League against Rheumatism (EULAR) recommendations for the treatment of systemic sclerosis (SSc), with attention to new therapeutic questions. Update of the previous treatment recommendations was performed according to EULAR standard operating procedures. The task force consisted of 32 SSc clinical experts from Europe and the USA, 2 patients nominated by the pan-European patient association for SSc (Federation of European Scleroderma Associations (FESCA)), a clinical epidemiologist and 2 research fellows. All centres from the EULAR Scleroderma Trials and Research group were invited to submit and select clinical questions concerning SSc treatment using a Delphi approach. Accordingly, 46 clinical questions addressing 26 different interventions were selected for systematic literature review. The new recommendations were based on the available evidence and developed in a consensus meeting with clinical experts and patients. The procedure resulted in 16 recommendations being developed (instead of 14 in 2009) that address treatment of several SSc-related organ complications: Raynaud's phenomenon (RP), digital ulcers (DUs), pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), skin and lung disease, scleroderma renal crisis and gastrointestinal involvement. Compared with the 2009 recommendations, the 2016 recommendations include phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitors for the treatment of SSc-related RP and DUs, riociguat, new aspects for endothelin receptor antagonists, prostacyclin analogues and PDE-5 inhibitors for SSc-related PAH. New recommendations regarding the use of fluoxetine for SSc-related RP and haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for selected patients with rapidly progressive SSc were also added. In addition, several comments regarding other treatments addressed in clinical questions and suggestions for the SSc research agenda were formulated. These updated data-derived and consensus-derived recommendations will help rheumatologists to manage patients with SSc in an evidence-based way. These recommendations also give directions for future clinical research in SSc.


Cyclophosphamide; Methotrexate; Systemic Sclerosis; Treatment

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Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: OK-B: consultancies or speakers bureau: AbbVie, Actelion, Bayer, Inventiva, Pfizer, Roche; JA: grant/research support from BMS, Pfizer, Roche/Chugai, Sanofi-Aventis, Actelion; MB: consultant for Actelion; YA: consultant for: Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Actelion, Pfizer, Inventiva, Medac, Servier, Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi-Aventis, CSL Behring, Roche; OD: consultant for: 4D Science, Actelion, Active Biotec, Bayer-Schering, Biogen, Biovitrium, BMS, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma, EpiPharm, Ergonex, GSK, Inventiva, Medac, Novartis, Pfizer, Pharmacyclics, Roche/Genentech, Sanofi/Genzyme, Serodapharm, Sinoxa and United BioSource Corporation; MC: Mundipharm, Actelion, BMS, Horizon, Pfizer, Biogen, Celltrion, Cellgene; LC: consultant for Actelion and Pfizer; CPD: consulting fees from Roche, Actelion, GSK, Bayer Pharmaceuticals; IF: constultant: Bayer, Roche/Chugai; MF: Actelion; DEF: grant/research support from AbbVie, Actelion, Amgen, BMS, NIH, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche/Genentech and consultancy with AbbVie, Actelion, Amgen, BMS, Cytori, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche/Genentech; NH: lecture fees from Actelion, Bayer, Roche; DK: consultancy with Actelion, BMS, Bayer, Covis, Cytori, Genentech/Roche, Gilead, Sanofi-Aventis and grant from NIH/NIAID, NIH/NIAMS, Bayer and BMS; ALH: consultant/speaker/research funding: Actelion, consultant: Apricus; JMvL: honoraria from MSD, BMS, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Roche; GR: lecturers fees from Bayer, Pfizer, Novartis, Actelion, GSK, BMS and research grants from Actelion; RS: consultant for: Entelligence Program, supported by Actelion; inPractice Rheumatology, grant support: BMS, Bayer; AS: research grant from Actelion; IT: Actelion; UM-L: grant/research support from: EULAR grant, consultant for: Actelion, GSK, Bayer, Medac, Roche/Chugai.

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