Micronutrient Deficiencies in Systemic Sclerosis: A Scoping Review

Audrey D. Nguyen, Zsuzsanna H. McMahan, Elizabeth R. Volkmann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose: The primary aim is to identify the micronutrient deficiencies commonly reported in SSc. The exploratory aim is to evaluate associations between micronutrient deficiencies and SSc clinical manifestations. Patient and Methods: We conducted a scoping review of all published reports on SSc and nutrition in PubMed from its inception to August 2020. Clinical trials, observational studies, meta-analyses, and case series (with ≥20 cases) containing data on nutritional deficiency and SSc were included. We followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) for reporting our findings. Two reviewers (ADN and ERV) studied the titles and abstracts of all search results with pre-specified inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results: Among 790 retrieved publications, 35 full-length articles and 3 abstracts met the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Included studies took place across multiple geographic locations and included patients with both diffuse and limited cutaneous SSc. Vitamin D deficiency was the most commonly reported deficiency described in SSc, followed by vitamin B12, vitamin B9, selenium, zinc, and iron. In addition, some small studies found deficiencies in vitamins B1, B6, C, E, and A. While some studies reported associations between specific micronutrient deficiencies and SSc disease features (eg, interstitial lung disease was commonly associated with vitamin D deficiency and elevated homocysteine [Hcy]), the evidence to support these associations was not robust. Conclusion: Micronutrient deficiencies are common in SSc and are associated with specific SSc features. Routine screening for micronutrient deficiencies may lead to early detection of malnutrition. Future studies are needed to understand how interventions to replete micronutrient deficiencies affect patient outcomes in SSc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-327
Number of pages19
JournalOpen Access Rheumatology: Research and Reviews
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • malnutrition
  • micronutrient deficiency
  • nutritional deficiency
  • systemic sclerosis
  • vitamin deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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