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International Journal of Rheumatology
Volume 2010, Article ID 923743, 8 pages
Review Article

Digital Ischemia in Scleroderma Spectrum of Diseases

Division of Rheumatology, University of Michigan Scleroderma Program, 24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, USA

Received 16 May 2010; Accepted 8 July 2010

Academic Editor: Lorinda Chung

Copyright © 2010 Elena Schiopu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Systemic Sclerosis (Scleroderma, SSc) is a disease of unknown etiology characterized by widespread vasculopathy and extracellular matrix deposition leading to fibrosis and autoimmune processes. Digital ischemia (digital ulcers (DUs)) is the hallmark of SSc-related vasculopathy and is characterized by endothelial dysfunction leading to intimal proliferation and thrombosis. It happens frequently (30% of the patients each year) and it is associated with significant morbidity. This paper summarizes the current information regarding pathogenesis, definitions, management, and exploratory therapies in DUs associated with SSc.