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Targeting Vascular Disease in Systemic Sclerosis

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Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma, SSc) is a chronic connective tissue disease of unknown etiology characterized by progressive fibrosis of the skin and a distinctive pattern of internal organ involvement. Excessive fibrosis, vascular injury, autoimmunity and inflammation are permanent features of the disease process leading to irreversible organ damage and significant morbidity and mortality in SSc patients. Recent progress in understanding the pathogenesis of SSc as well as diagnostic and therapeutic advances in medicine have made more effective treatment strategies possible. So far, therapies targeting vascular aspects of SSc have been most successful. This underlines the role of vascular injury in the pathogenesis of the disease and raising hopes of significant improvement in the management of SSc patients. The aim of this review is to summarize recent and potential future treatments of SSc-associated vascular disease.

Keywords: Systemic sclerosis; management; vascular disease

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Rheumatology and Internal Medicine, Medical University of Bialystok, Ul. M. Curie-Sklodowskiej 24 A, 15-276 Bialystok, Poland.

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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  • This journal is devoted to timely reviews of experimental and clinical studies in the field of endocrine, metabolic, and immune disorders. Specific emphasis is placed on humoral and cellular targets for natural, synthetic, and genetically engineered drugs that enhance or impair endocrine, metabolic, and immune parameters and functions. Topics related to the neuroendocrine-immune axis are given special emphasis in view of the growing interest in stress-related, inflammatory, autoimmune, and degenerative disorders.

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