Sine scleroderma (sine sclerosis) describes a type of systemic scleroderma that is characterized by the absence of external skin involvement, but the presence of Raynaud’s phenomenon and fibrosis in one or more internal organs. The word “sine” is Latin for “without.”
The exact cause of sine scleroderma is not known, but it is believed to be an autoimmune reaction that leads to overproduction of collagen. Excessive collagen builds as scar tissue (fibrosis) in internal organs, limiting function. Sine scleroderma most commonly affects the esophagus, heart, lungs, and kidneys. Fibrosis of the organs can lead to damage followed by failure.
In addition to positive autoantibodies (ANA) found via blood testing, indicative symptoms of sine sclerosis can include heartburn, difficulties in swallowing, high blood pressure, kidney problems, shortness of breath, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal obstruction.
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