Cardiovascular Imaging for Systemic Sclerosis Monitoring and Management

Peter Glynn, Sarah Hale, Tasmeen Hussain, Benjamin H. Freed*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a complex connective tissue disease with multiple clinical and subclinical cardiac manifestations. SSc can affect most structural components of the heart, including the pericardium, myocardium, valves, and conduction system through a damaging cycle of inflammation, ischemia, and fibrosis. While cardiac involvement is the second leading SSc-related cause of death, it is frequently clinically silent in early disease and often missed with routine screening. To facilitate identification of cardiac disease in this susceptible population, we present here a review of cardiac imaging modalities and potential uses in the SSc patient population. We describe well-characterized techniques including electrocardiography and 2D echocardiography with Doppler, but also discuss more advanced imaging approaches, such as speckle-tracking echocardiography, cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR), and stress imaging, among others. We also suggest an algorithm for the appropriate application of these modalities in the workup and management of patients with SSc. Finally, we discuss future opportunities for cardiac imaging in SSc research to achieve early detection and to optimize treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number846213
JournalFrontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine
StatePublished - 2022


  • cardiovascular imaging
  • cardiovascular magnetic resonanace
  • echocardiography
  • scleroderma heart disease
  • systemic sclerosis (scleroderma)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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