Hypertension in Scleroderma Requires Immediate Treatment, According To New Research

Hypertension in Scleroderma Requires Immediate Treatment, According To New Research

Algerian researchers have shed further light on the co-existence of hypertension in scleroderma and what it could mean to the progression of the disorder. Scleroderma is chronic hardening of the skin and connective tissues that occurs in the condition systemic sclerosis. Hypertension is another frequent symptom of the disease, one that is particularly concerning because it is often a first sign of eventual renal (kidney) failure.

Systemic sclerosis is a connective tissue disease that affects many different parts of the body, including the skin. It is characterized by diseased blood vessels (vasculopathy) and fibrosis — the thickening and scarring of connective tissue. Because blood vessels are affected as well as skin, it is not surprising that hypertension is a frequent consequence of systemic sclerosis and scleroderma.

The study, titled “Hypertension in scleroderma: A vital emergency,” appeared in the French language journal Annales de Cardiologie et d’Angéiologie. The researchers, working at the université d’Alger, studied 60 patients age 16 and older with  systemic scleroderma from January 2008 to May 2012. The study participants met classification of Leroy and Medsger modified, a standard method of diagnosing systemic sclerosis. They measured blood pressure and the existence of hypertension.

A total of 50 women and 10 men participated in the study. Sixteen patients (26.7%) had hypertension. Of these, 12 eventually developed renal failure and five had a scleroderma renal crisis (SRC). An SRC refers to life-threatening kidney failure. Three of the participants experienced vascular nephropathies (damage to the kidneys), four chronic kidney failure (CKD), including three deaths from kidney failure.

In their report, the scientists concluded that “Hypertension is a major warning sign that under no circumstances should [be overlooked].

People with systemic sclerosis and hypertension require careful monitoring and immediate treatment, since based on the current study, hypertension is a sign that potentially severe and fatal medical conditions will likely develop.

Scleroderma is a relatively rare condition in which the body’s immune system launches an attack on its own tissues. Although treatments are available to reduce the symptoms, there is no cure for the condition. Treatment typically involves blocking the immune response, improving blood circulation, and attempts to stop the skin symptoms from getting worse.

Two types of systemic scleroderma exist: localized and systemic. Systemic scleroderma is serious and life-threatening, but localized scleroderma is more manageable. Further insights into the progression and treatment of scleroderma are greatly needed to help manage it, so the current study adds to existing knowledge that can help doctors to treat the disease.

One comment

  1. urus says:

    The initial test in the 1990’s showed ceiling high ana’s…higher than Lupus…higher than rhemotoid blood pressure 120/80 except my fingers were painful and palms unusally red like blood was floating underneath the skin. Went off of tea and the pain went away…took a year. History periodic heart pain like one season every 10 years with a galloping feeling and strong heart beat from age 14. I could outrun any boy, skate, climb etc. Late 1990’s extreme reaction to cold…took a shower in 1 minute and slept inside an electrical blanket…body ice cold. Arms of the skin rested on the elbows. My body heat returned after ten years. I soaked myself in oil up to the neck for 3 days and the stiffness in the legs left but I had large sacs of ?pus or sugar? on my bum possibly due to blockage and oxygen could not be released? 120/80 still being maintained. Had a cancer operation due to a buildup of liquids in my neck and the doc gave me 5 years as I refused treatment due to the scleroderma. Interesting, an hour before the surgury my pressure went up to 178. Someone suggested that I cut back on drinking liquids to 8 cups a day from 20 – 40. I am border diabetic. 8 cups dehydration and my pressure returned to 120/80 maintained for the last 3 years. Had a fall in August…nothing serious. Went last night to the hospital thought I had appendicitis. Pain was so bad my husband had to pull my pants on. Scan was done…nothing. Blood pressure was 212/96. Had a very strong heart beat prior to hospital visit for about a minute and twice thought I was going to faint and wanted to vomit probably due to the pain pills. It just sort of snuck up on me. Gave myself a B 12 injecton purchased potassium caps and swallowed magnesium. 30 year gradually. At 72 I think I am normally healthy. Back to the diet…back to 8 cups a day. Reason I am writing is that my mother, Elsie Wigle, had a fall and died about 3 months later…perfect blood pressure…had antibiotic only once in her life and rarely visited a doc except for work related forms. Her blood pressure spiked into the 200’s…the urethea closed. What if she never had the fall? Autopsy, in Hamilton, Ontario, showed a white spleen…like where did the blood go? I am still working as a superintendent. Inflammation seems to be something to take care of right away. Thus, I am taking 3 teaspoons of silver colitis a day.

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