Scleroderma

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Scleroderma Week

Scleroderma Week

Welcome Message

Together with the Scleroderma Foundation, we would like to welcome you to the 2017 Scleroderma week at the American Thoracic Society. It is our pleasure to provide information to you about this complex disease that frequently involves the lungs.

Scleroderma (sclero = "hardening", derma = "skin") is a progressive autoimmune disease that affects the skin and connective tissue (including cartilage, bone, fat, and the tissue that supports the nerves and blood vessels throughout the body).  There are two major forms of the disorder.  The form known as localized scleroderma mainly affects the skin.  The form known as systemic scleroderma,  also called systemic sclerosis, may also affect the internal organs of the body including the lung.  Pulmonary involvement in the form of interstitial lung disease and/or pulmonary hypertension occurs frequently, and is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality.  Consequently their presence is included in the most recent classification criteria for scleroderma.  Esophageal involvement is also common, and esophageal motility issues can predispose patients to aspiration of stomach contents into the lungs. 

Unfortunately there is still no cure scleroderma.  However, there are a number of FDA-approved treatment options for pulmonary arterial hypertension that is associated with scleroderma.  Unfortunately, the treatment options for scleroderma- associated interstitial lung disease are still limited. Participation in clinical trials remains necessary and encouraged in our search for a cure.

Many ATS members are involved in direct patient care as well as ongoing research efforts in scleroderma.  With our PAR partner, the Scleroderma Foundation, we are working hard to support research to find a cure for this disease. We hope to improve long-term survival and quality of life in patients with pulmonary involvement. The Scleroderma week at ATS hopes to increase awareness of scleroderma for clinicians, researchers and patients alike with these goals in mind.  We hope that the materials provided this week will serve as useful resources in this regard.

 

Mitchell Olman, MD, MA

Mitchell Olman, MD, MA
Physician
Department of Pathobiology
Cleveland Clinic

Kristin Highland, MD

Kristin Highland, MD
Physician
Department of Pulmonary Medicine
Cleveland Clinic

Kerri Connolly

Kerri Connolly
Director of Programs and Services
Scleroderma Foundation
Chair- elect, ATS Public Advisory Roundtable

 

ATS Scleroderma Disease Partner
Scleroderma Foundation

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The Scleroderma Foundation is the national organization for people with scleroderma and their families and friends. It was formed January 1, 1998, by a merger between the West Coast-based United Scleroderma Foundation and the East Coast-based Scleroderma Federation. Their three-fold mission is based on furthering support, education, and research for scleroderma and related diseases.