Progress in Understanding, Diagnosing, and Managing Cardiac Complications of Systemic Sclerosis

George Hung, Valentina Mercurio, Steven Hsu, Stephen C. Mathai, Ami A. Shah, Monica Mukherjee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose of the Review: Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) is a complex autoimmune disease that commonly involves the cardiovascular system. Even if often subclinical, cardiac involvement is considered a poor prognostic factor as it is a leading cause of death in scleroderma patients. We review the cardiac manifestations of scleroderma, the diagnostic methods useful in detection, and current advances in therapeutic management. Recent Findings: Beside the routine exams for the assessment of cardiac status (including EKG, standard echocardiography, provocative tests) novel techniques such as myocardial strain imaging on echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, invasive hemodynamic assessment, and endomyocardial biopsy have been demonstrated to be useful in understanding the cardiac alterations that typically affect scleroderma patients. Summary: Recent application of novel cardiac detection strategies is providing increased insight into the breadth and pathogenesis of cardiac complications of scleroderma. Further studies coupling exercise provocation, invasive and imaging assessment, and mechanistic studies in scleroderma cardiac tissue are needed to develop the optimal approach to early detection of cardiac disease in scleroderma and targeted therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number68
JournalCurrent rheumatology reports
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Cardiac complications
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • Scleroderma
  • Systemic sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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