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      Optimal management of digital ulcers in systemic sclerosis

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          Abstract

          Raynaud’s phenomenon and digital ulcerations are two common clinical features seen in patients with systemic sclerosis. They are painful and lead to significant morbidity and altered hand function within this patient population. While currently there are no US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications for the treatment of digital ulcerations in the United States, clinical trials have supported the use of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic modalities in facilitating healing of existing digital ulcers and preventing formation of new ulcers. This article reviews the published data on these therapeutic options.

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          Most cited references 36

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          Continuous intravenous epoprostenol for pulmonary hypertension due to the scleroderma spectrum of disease. A randomized, controlled trial.

          Pulmonary hypertension is a progressive and often fatal complication of the scleroderma spectrum of disease for which no treatment has been proven effective in a randomized trial. To determine the effect of epoprostenol on pulmonary hypertension secondary to the scleroderma spectrum of disease. Randomized, open-label, controlled trial. 17 pulmonary hypertension referral centers. 111 patients with moderate to severe pulmonary hypertension. Epoprostenol plus conventional therapy or conventional therapy alone. The primary outcome measure was exercise capacity. Other measures were cardiopulmonary hemodynamics, signs and symptoms of pulmonary hypertension and scleroderma, and survival. Exercise capacity improved with epoprostenol (median distance walked in 6 minutes, 316 m at 12 weeks compared with 270 m at baseline) but decreased with conventional therapy (192 m at 12 weeks compared with 240 m at baseline). The difference between treatment groups in the median distance walked at week 12 was 108 m (95% CI, 55.2 m to 180.0 m) (P < 0.001). Hemodynamics improved at 12 weeks with epoprostenol. The changes in mean pulmonary artery pressure for the epoprostenol and conventional therapy groups were -5.0 and 0.9 mm Hg, respectively (difference, -6.0 mm Hg [CI, -9.0 to -3.0 mm Hg), and the mean changes in pulmonary vascular resistance were -4.6 and 0.9 mm Hg/L per minute, respectively (difference, -5.5 mm Hg/L per minute [CI, -7.3 to -3.7 mm Hg/L per minute). Twenty-one patients treated with epoprostenol and no patients receiving conventional therapy showed improved New York Heart Association functional class. Borg Dyspnea Scores and Dyspnea-Fatigue Ratings improved in the epoprostenol group. Trends toward greater improvement in severity of the Raynaud phenomenon and fewer new digital ulcers were seen in the epoprostenol group. Four patients in the epoprostenol group and five in the conventional therapy group died (P value not significant). Side effects of epoprostenol therapy included jaw pain, nausea, and anorexia. Adverse events related to the epoprostenol delivery system included sepsis, cellulitis, hemorrhage, and pneumothorax (4% incidence for each condition). Continuous epoprostenol therapy improves exercise capacity and cardiopulmonary hemodynamics in patients with pulmonary hypertension due to the scleroderma spectrum of disease.
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            Safety, tolerability and potential efficacy of injection of autologous adipose-derived stromal vascular fraction in the fingers of patients with systemic sclerosis: an open-label phase I trial

            Background In patients with systemic sclerosis (scleroderma, SSc), impaired hand function greatly contributes to disability and reduced quality of life, and is insufficiently relieved by currently available therapies. Adipose tissue-derived stromal vascular fraction (SVF) is increasingly recognised as an easily accessible source of regenerative cells with therapeutic potential in ischaemic or autoimmune diseases. We aimed to measure for the first time the safety, tolerability and potential efficacy of autologous SVF cells local injections in patients with SSc with hand disability. Methods We did an open-label, single arm, at one study site with 6-month follow-up among 12 female SSc patients with Cochin Hand Function Scale score >20/90. Autologous SVF was obtained from lipoaspirates, using an automated processing system, and subsequently injected into the subcutaneous tissue of each finger in contact with neurovascular pedicles. Primary outcome was the number and the severity of adverse events related to SVF-based therapy. Secondary endpoints were changes in hand disability and fibrosis, vascular manifestations, pain and quality of life from baseline to 2 and 6 months after cell therapy. Findings All enrolled patients had surgery, and there were no dropouts or patients lost to follow-up. No severe adverse events occurred during the procedure and follow-up. Four minor adverse events were reported and resolved spontaneously. A significant improvement in hand disability and pain, Raynaud's phenomenon, finger oedema and quality of life was observed. Interpretation This study outlines the safety of the autologous SVF cells injection in the hands of patients with SSc. Preliminary assessments at 6 months suggest potential efficacy needing confirmation in a randomised placebo-controlled trial on a larger population. Funding GFRS (Groupe Francophone de Recherche sur la Sclérodermie). Clinical Trials number NCT01813279.
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              Losartan therapy for Raynaud's phenomenon and scleroderma: clinical and biochemical findings in a fifteen-week, randomized, parallel-group, controlled trial.

              To compare the efficacy and tolerability of losartan, an antagonist of angiotensin II receptor type 1, with nifedipine for the treatment of primary and secondary Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) in a pilot study. In a randomized, parallel-group, controlled trial, patients with primary RP (n = 25) or RP secondary to systemic sclerosis (SSc [scleroderma]; n = 27) were allocated to receive 12 weeks' treatment with either losartan (50 mg/day) or nifedipine (40 mg/day). Primary outcome variables were the severity and frequency of RP episodes and findings on vascular measurements, including thermography and laser Doppler flowmetry. Serum levels of soluble adhesion molecules, endothelin 1, fibrinogen, von Willebrand factor, and procollagen type I N-terminal propeptide (PINP) were also measured. There was a reduction in the severity of RP episodes following treatment with losartan and with nifedipine, but this effect was greater in the losartan arm of the study (P<0.05): episode frequency was reduced only in the losartan group (P<0.01 versus baseline). Symptomatic improvement was associated with a significant reduction in soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 and PINP (P<0.01). Subgroup analysis suggested that although these biochemical changes occurred mainly in SSc patients, the clinical benefit was greater in the primary RP group. This study confirms the tolerability of short-term treatment of RP with losartan, and our data suggest its clinical benefit. Further evaluation of this drug as a long-term treatment for SSc-associated RP should be considered, since it may have additional disease-modifying potential.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-6336
                1178-203X
                2015
                15 June 2015
                : 11
                : 939-947
                Affiliations
                Division of Rheumatology, immunology, and Allergy, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Virginia Steen, Division of Rheumatology, Immunology, and Allergy, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, 3800 Reservoir Road, Nw, 3 PHC, Suite 3004, Washington, DC 20007, USA, Email steenv@ 123456georgetown.edu
                Article
                tcrm-11-939
                10.2147/TCRM.S82561
                4474386
                © 2015 Abraham and Steen. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Categories
                Review

                Medicine

                treatment, digital ulcers, raynaud’s phenomenon, systemic sclerosis, scleroderma

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