Cardiac complications of systemic sclerosis and management: Recent progress

Vibhav Rangarajan, Richard Matiasz, Benjamin H. Freed*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-584
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent opinion in rheumatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • cardiovascular magnetic resonance
  • echocardiography
  • microvascular disease
  • myocardial fibrosis
  • systemic sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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