Demographic, clinical and antibody characteristics of patients with digital ulcers in systemic sclerosis: data from the DUO Registry

Ann Rheum Dis. 2012 May;71(5):718-21. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-200631. Epub 2012 Jan 12.


Objectives: The Digital Ulcers Outcome (DUO) Registry was designed to describe the clinical and antibody characteristics, disease course and outcomes of patients with digital ulcers associated with systemic sclerosis (SSc).

Methods: The DUO Registry is a European, prospective, multicentre, observational, registry of SSc patients with ongoing digital ulcer disease, irrespective of treatment regimen. Data collected included demographics, SSc duration, SSc subset, internal organ manifestations, autoantibodies, previous and ongoing interventions and complications related to digital ulcers.

Results: Up to 19 November 2010 a total of 2439 patients had enrolled into the registry. Most were classified as either limited cutaneous SSc (lcSSc; 52.2%) or diffuse cutaneous SSc (dcSSc; 36.9%). Digital ulcers developed earlier in patients with dcSSc compared with lcSSc. Almost all patients (95.7%) tested positive for antinuclear antibodies, 45.2% for anti-scleroderma-70 and 43.6% for anticentromere antibodies (ACA). The first digital ulcer in the anti-scleroderma-70-positive patient cohort occurred approximately 5 years earlier than the ACA-positive patient group.

Conclusions: This study provides data from a large cohort of SSc patients with a history of digital ulcers. The early occurrence and high frequency of digital ulcer complications are especially seen in patients with dcSSc and/or anti-scleroderma-70 antibodies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / blood
  • Cohort Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Fingers / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Registries* / statistics & numerical data
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / immunology
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / pathology*
  • Skin Ulcer / immunology
  • Skin Ulcer / pathology*
  • Time Factors


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • anticentromere antibody