French recommendations for the management of systemic sclerosis

Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2021 Jul 26;16(Suppl 2):322. doi: 10.1186/s13023-021-01844-y.


Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a generalized disease of the connective tissue, arterioles, and microvessels, characterized by the appearance of fibrosis and vascular obliteration. There are two main phenotypical forms of SSc: a diffuse cutaneous form that extends towards the proximal region of the limbs and/or torso, and a limited cutaneous form where the cutaneous sclerosis only affects the extremities of the limbs (without passing beyond the elbows and knees). There also exists in less than 10% of cases forms that never involve the skin. This is called SSc sine scleroderma. The prognosis depends essentially on the occurrence of visceral damage and more particularly interstitial lung disease (which is sometimes severe), pulmonary arterial hypertension, or primary cardiac damage, which represent the three commonest causes of mortality in SSc. Another type of involvement with poor prognosis, scleroderma renal crisis, is rare (less than 5% of cases). Cutaneous extension is also an important parameter, with the diffuse cutaneous forms having less favorable prognosis.

Keywords: Recommendations; Systemic sclerosis; Treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial*
  • Scleroderma, Systemic*
  • Skin
  • Skin Diseases*