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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Systemic scleroderma


Other Names for this Disease

  • Progressive systemic sclerosis
  • Scleroderma, systemic
  • Systemic sclerosis
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Overview

Systemic scleroderma is an autoimmune disorder that affects the skin and internal organs. It is characterized by the buildup of scar tissue (fibrosis) in the skin and other organs. The fibrosis is caused by the body's production of too much collagen, which normally strengthens and supports connective tissues. The signs and symptoms of systemic scleroderma usually begin with episodes of Raynaud's phenomenon, which can occur weeks to years before fibrosis. This may be followed by puffy or swollen hands before the skin becomes thickened and hard. Fibrosis can also affect internal organs and can lead to impairment or failure of the affected organs. The most commonly affected organs are the esophagus, heart, lungs, and kidneys.[1]

There are three types of systemic scleroderma, defined by the tissues affected in the disorder.[1]

Last updated: 1/30/2013

References

  1. Systemic scleroderma. Genetics Home Reference (GHR). September 2011; http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/systemic-scleroderma. Accessed 1/30/2013.
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Basic Information

  • DermNet NZ is an online resource about skin diseases developed by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated. DermNet NZ provides information about this condition.
  • Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Systemic scleroderma. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research, and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Progressive systemic sclerosis
  • Scleroderma, systemic
  • Systemic sclerosis
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.