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Skin Care and Diseases

Systemic scleroderma prognosis

06/29/2006

Question:

When an individual has been diagnosed with systemic scleroderma, after Raynauds and heartburn symptoms, how many years can they expect from diagnosis to death? Is there an average expectation?

Answer:

Your question is one that troubles anyone with chronic disease.  The answer will depend upon how well you tolerate the disease and how well you respond to treatment.  In some cases there is total remission and in others there is relentless progression.  I tend to be optimistic because of the medications that we have available; but you should see your internist, particularly one that has a specialty interest in scleroderma.  Textbooks do give you some information but they do not take into account the individual variations which can affect the prognosis dramatically. 

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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati