Raynaud phenomenon, scleroderma, overlap syndromes, and other fibrosing syndromesVascular function in systemic sclerosisHerrick, Ariane L MD, FRCP Author Information Senior Lecturer in Rheumatology, University of Manchester, Rheumatic Diseases Centre, Hope Hospital, Salford, UK Correspondence to Ariane L. Herrick, MD, FRCP, Senior Lecturer in Rheumatology, University of Manchester, Rheumatic Diseases Centre, Hope Hospital, Salford, UK M6 8HD; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Rheumatology: November 2000 - Volume 12 - Issue 6 - p 527-533 Buy Abstract Raynaud phenomenon is often the earliest manifestation of systemic sclerosis. This fact highlights the role of vascular dysfunction early on in the disease process. Although this review deals primarily with digital vasculature, recent research confirms that vascular dysfunction is widespread, and affects large as well as small vessels. Abnormalities of vascular function and structure are interdependent, and together result in the ischemic atrophy so characteristic of SSc. Key areas of research include the pathophysiology of the imbalance between vasodilation and vasoconstriction, with particular interest in understanding the relative contributions of endothelial-dependent and endothelial-independent vasodilation, and the development of new methodologies by which to quantify vascular function. © 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.