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Diagnosis and management of linear scleroderma in children

Peña-Romero, Adriana G.; García-Romero, Maria T.

doi: 10.1097/MOP.0000000000000785

Purpose of review Linear scleroderma is the most common subtype of localized scleroderma (LoS) in children. It can be associated with extracutaneous manifestations and long-term sequelae. Thus, appropriate diagnosis and management are key to improve the prognosis. In this review, we summarize the most relevant recent publications for the diagnosis, evaluation of disease activity and adequate management of patients with linear scleroderma.

Recent findings There are specific clinical features that indicate activity in LoS; dermoscopy and Wood's lamp may be useful. Summarizing, scoring methods seem to provide the most adequate assessment of LoS; but several biomarkers that correlate with activity have been studied: E-selectin and IL-2 receptor, CD34+ dermal dendritic cells and Th/Th1 immunophenotype with decreased T helper (Th2), T regulatory (Tregs), B and natural killer (NK) cells. Recent studies propose hydroxychloroquine monotherapy and tocilizumab as potential therapeutic options.

Summary Clinical evaluation, both physical exam and history, is the most important aspect in diagnosing and assessing activity of linear scleroderma. Clinical scoring methods may be most useful for evaluation of activity; eventually, other biomarkers could be relevant in clinical practice. For most patients with linear scleroderma, the first choice of treatment is methotrexate, but physical therapy, plastic surgery and/or orthopedic management are key to improve residual limitations and quality of life.

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Dermatology Department, National Institute of Pediatrics, Mexico City, Mexico

Correspondence to Maria T. García-Romero, MD, MPH, Dermatology Department, National Institute of Pediatrics, Insurgentes Sur 3700C, Col. Insurgentes Cuicuilco, CDMX 04530 Mexico City, Mexico. Tel: +52 5510840900x2034; e-mail:

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