Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

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Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

2017, vol. 26, nr 5, August, p. 875–880

doi: 10.17219/acem/64334

Publication type: review article

Language: English

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Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 Open Access

Systemic sclerosis sine scleroderma

Eugeniusz J. Kucharz1,A,D, Magdalena Kopeć-Mędrek1,D

1 Department of Internal Medicine and Rheumatology, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland


Systemic sclerosis is a rare generalized disease with scleroderma, i.e. skin thickening as one of the most common symptoms. The disease has 2 main subsets, diffuse and limited forms. The subset known as systemic sclerosis sine scleroderma (ssSSc) is a very rare subset characterized by the total or partial absence of cutaneous manifestations of systemic sclerosis with the occurrence of internal organ involvement and serologic abnormalities. The classification of ssSSc into 3 groups was proposed. Type I (complete) is characterized by the lack of any cutaneous changes typical for the disease at least until systemic sclerosis-related insufficiency of any internal organ occurs. Type II (incomplete) is characterized by the absence of sclerodactyly, but other cutaneous involvements (e.g. calcifications, telangiectasies, pitting scars) can be found. Type III (delayed) is characterized by clinical internal organ involvement typical for systemic sclerosis that has appeared before skin changes (complete or incomplete). In general, the demographic and clinical characteristics of the ssSSc patients suggest that they are similar to those with diffuse or limited form of the disease. Diagnosis of ssSSc still remains difficult and this disease form should be considered in all cases of unexplained fibrotic involvement of the internal organs.

Key words

systemic sclerosis, scleroderma, sclerodactyly, internal organ fibrosis

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