Consensus best practice pathway of the UK Scleroderma Study Group: digital vasculopathy in systemic sclerosis

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2015 Nov;54(11):2015-24. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kev201. Epub 2015 Jun 26.


Objective: Digital vasculopathy (comprising RP, digital ulceration and critical digital ischaemia) is responsible for much of the pain and disability experienced by patients with SSc. However, there is a limited evidence base to guide clinicians in the management of SSc-related digital vasculopathy. Our aim was to produce recommendations that would be helpful for clinicians, especially for those managing patients outside specialist centres.

Methods: The UK Scleroderma Study Group set up several working groups to develop a number of consensus best practice pathways for the management of SSc-specific complications, including digital vasculopathy.

Results: This overview presents the background and best practice consensus pathways for SSc-related RP, digital ulceration and critical ischaemia. Examples of drug therapies, including doses, are suggested in order to inform prescribing practice.

Conclusion: A number of treatment algorithms are provided that are intended to provide the clinician with accessible reference tools for use in daily management.

Keywords: Raynaud’s phenomenon; critical digital ischaemia; digital ulcer; digital vasculopathy; scleroderma; systemic sclerosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Disease Management
  • Fingers / blood supply*
  • Fingers / pathology
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / etiology
  • Ischemia / therapy
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Raynaud Disease / etiology
  • Raynaud Disease / therapy
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / complications*
  • Ulcer / etiology
  • Ulcer / therapy
  • United Kingdom
  • Vascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Vascular Diseases / therapy*