Gastrointestinal Dysmotility and Infections in Systemic Sclerosis- An Indian Scenario

Curr Rheumatol Rev. 2018;14(2):172-176. doi: 10.2174/1573397113666170425145405.


Introduction: Systemic Sclerosis is known to involve the gastrointestinal system and can lead to multitude of problems predominantly affecting the GI motility.

Methods: It was a prospective, observational, single centre study of fifty consecutive patients with SSc who presented to rheumatology clinic. Gut score was assessed using UCLA SCTC GIT 2.0 questionnaire. 35 patients underwent esophago- gastro duodenoscopy(UGIE), 31 underwent esophageal manometry, 37 underwent lactulose breath test to assess orocaecal transit time (OCTT) and glucose breath test for detecting small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and 36 underwent gastric emptying scintigraphy to measure gastric emptying time.

Results: GI involvement was seen in 98% of patients, with most common symptom being regurgitation (78%). Mean T score of the GUT score was 0.60±0.27. In UGIE, esophagitis was seen in 30, of which 3 had candidiasis and 1 had HSV esophagitis. Hiatus hernia was noted in 10 patients. Mean lower esophageal sphincter pressure was 16.1± 12.7 mmHg with hypotensive sphincture in twelve patients. Esophageal peristaltic abnormalities were observed in 28(90%) patients. Gastric emptying was delayed in10/36 patients. OCTT was prolonged in 23/ 37 patients whereas SIBO was noted in 7/37.

Conclusion: GI involvement is common in SSc with esophagus being most commonly affected. Motility abnormalities make them prone for super added infections especially infectious esophagitis and SIBO and should be investigated for early detection and treatment.

Keywords: OCTT; Systemic sclerosis; gastric emptying scintigraphy; motility; oesophageal manometry; scleroderma..

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Candidiasis / epidemiology
  • Esophagitis / epidemiology
  • Esophagitis / microbiology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Motility*
  • Herpes Simplex / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / complications*