Scleroderma renal crisis, still a life-threatening complication

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Jun;1108:249-58. doi: 10.1196/annals.1422.027.


Scleroderma renal crisis (SRC) is a major complication in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). SRC occurs during the first 4 years of disease evolution in more than 75% of the cases, almost exclusively in patients with diffuse SSc. Other risk factors, including preceding corticosteroid therapy, have been associated with an increased occurrence of SRC. Prior to the late 1970s, SRC was a major cause of death in SSc patients. However, the prognosis has dramatically improved with the introduction of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. Thus, prompt diagnosis and early initiation of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors therapy will improve the outcome. Nevertheless, additional antihypertensive treatments are often needed. Quite a large proportion of patients require dialysis, although this therapy may be stopped in approximately one-third of patients. Patients remaining on dialysis after 2 years can be proposed for a renal transplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / diagnosis
  • Kidney Diseases / etiology*
  • Kidney Diseases / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / complications*