Secondary Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Cardiac complications of systemic sclerosis and management: recent progress

Rangarajan, Vibhav; Matiasz, Richard; Freed, Benjamin H.

Current Opinion in Rheumatology: November 2017 - Volume 29 - Issue 6 - p 574–584
doi: 10.1097/BOR.0000000000000439

Purpose of review Cardiac complications in systemic sclerosis (SSc) continue to be a leading cause of death in this patient population. Early recognition and treatment of the cardiac diseases commonly associated with SSc is essential.

Recent findings Recent studies have confirmed the significant increase in mortality in SSc patients with cardiac involvement. Electrocardiography and echocardiography (2DE) continue to play a major role in screening and diagnosing cardiac manifestations such as arrhythmias or biventricular dysfunction, respectively. Novel techniques such as myocardial strain imaging on 2DE and T1 mapping on cardiovascular magnetic resonance are useful for detecting subclinical cardiac abnormalities, but the clinical relevance of these findings is still not known. An expert consensus was recently published to help establish best practice guidelines on management of cardiac complications in SSc, but data supporting these recommendations remain limited.

Summary Recent studies continue to enhance our understanding of SSc cardiac disease. Although the results of these studies help lessen the ambiguity of managing and treating these patients, there is still much more research to be done.

Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg, School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Correspondence to Benjamin H. Freed, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 676 North St. Clair, Suite 600, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. Tel: +1 312 926 2398; fax: +1 312 695 0063; e-mail:

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.