Background: Skin ulcers (SU) are one of the most frequent manifestations of systemic sclerosis (SSc). SSc-SU are very painful, often persistent and recurrent; they may lead to marked impairment of patient's activities and quality of life. Despite their severe impact on the whole SSc patient's management, the proposed definition, classification criteria, and therapeutic strategies of SSc-SU are still controversial.Objective: The present study aimed to elaborate a comprehensive proposal of definition, classification, and therapeutic strategy of SSc-SU on the basis of our long-term single center experience along with a careful revision of the world literature on the same topic.Methods: A series of 282 SSc patients (254 females and 28 males; 84% with limited and 16% diffuse cutaneous SSc; mean age of 51.5 +/- 13.9SD at SSc onset; mean follow-up 5.8 +/- 4.6SD years) enrolled during the last decade at our Rheumatology Unit were retrospectively evaluated with specific attention to SSc-SU. The SSc-SU were classified in 5 subtypes according to prominent pathogenetic mechanism(s) and localization, namely 1. digital ulcers (DU) of the hands or feet, 2. SU on bony prominence, 3. SU on calcinosis, 4. SU of lower limbs, and 5. DU presenting with gangrene. This latter is a very harmful evolution of both DU of the hands and feet needing a differential diagnosis with critical limb ischemia.Results: During the follow up period, one or more episodes of SSc-SU were recorded in over half patients (156/ 282, 55%); skin lesions were often recurrent and difficult-to-heal because of local complications, mainly infections (67.3%), in some cases associated to osteomyelitis (192%), gangrene (16%), and/or amputation (11.5%). SSc-SU were significantly associated with lower patients' mean age at the disease onset (p = 0.024), male gender (p = 0.03), diffuse cutaneous subset (p = 0.015), calcinosis (p = 0.002), telangiectasia (p = 0.008), melanodermia (p < 0.001), abnormal PAPs (p = 0.036), and/or altered inflammation reactant (CRP, p = 0.001). Therapeutic strategy of SSc-SU included both systemic and local pharmacological treatments with particular attention to complicating infections and chronic/procedural pain, as well as a number of non-pharmacological measures. Integrated local treatments were often decisive for the SSc-SU healing; they were mainly based on the wound bed preparation principles that are summarized in the acronym TIME (necrotic Tissue, Infection/Inflammation, Moisture balance, and Epithelization).The updated review of the literature focusing on this challenging issue was analyzed in comparison with our experience.Conclusions: The recent advancement of knowledge and management strategies of SSc-SU achieved during the last years lead to the clear-cut improvement of patients' quality of life and reduced long-term disability. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
|Titolo:||Scleroderma skin ulcers definition, classification and treatment strategies our experience and review of the literature|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|