Friday, August 13, 2010

The cardiovascular manifestations of systemic sclerosis (SSc)

---were recently reviewed in Current Opinion in Rheumatology.

Points of interest:

Virtually any cardiac tissue can be directly affected, usually by fibrosis.

The relationship to coronary disease is poorly defined. Rheumatic diseases in general are thought to be associated with accelerated atherosclerosis. Coronary vasospasm may be a complication of Ssc.

Pulmonary hypertension may occur with or without interstitial lung disease (ILD).

Special MR and nuclear imaging applications are discussed.

Echocardiography is helpful but has limitations.

BNP and proBNP have limited usefulness.

Specific antinuclear antibodies (anti-SCl 70, anti-centromere and anti-RNA polymerase III) may predict particular cardiovascular complications although the correlation is imperfect.

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