Sclerodermic Cardiomyopathy-A State-of-the-Art Review

Diagnostics (Basel). 2022 Mar 9;12(3):669. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics12030669.


Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic autoimmune disorder with unknown triggering factors, and complex pathophysiologic links which lead to fibrosis of skin and internal organs, including the heart, lungs, and gut. However, more than 100 years after the first description of cardiac disease in SSc, sclerodermic cardiomyopathy (SScCmp) is an underrecognized, occult disease with important adverse long-term prognosis. Laboratory tests, electrocardiography (ECG) and cardiovascular multimodality imaging techniques (transthoracic 2D and 3D echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR), and novel imaging techniques, including myocardial deformation analysis) provide new insights into the cardiac abnormalities in patients with SSc. This state-of-the-art review aims to stratify all the cardiac investigations needed to diagnose and follow-up the SScCmp, and discusses the epidemiology, risk factors and pathophysiology of this important cause of morbidity of the SSc patient.

Keywords: cardiac magnetic resonance; cardiomyopathy; echocardiography; speckle-tracking; strain; systemic sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Review