Diagnosis of systemic sclerosis and Raynaud’s phenomenon
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Diagnosis of systemic sclerosis and Raynaud’s phenomenon

Louise Parker Lead nurse, Rheumatology and connective tissue disease, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Louise Parker describes how nurses can play a pivotal role in treating this rare and debilitating autoimmune rheumatic disease

Scleroderma is a spectrum of disorders comprising diseases predominantly vascular in origin, such as Raynaud’s phenomenon, and more fibrotic in origin, such as morphea. Systemic sclerosis occupies the centre of this spectrum with both vascular and fibrotic features. Systemic sclerosis is an uncommon autoimmune disease on the scleroderma spectrum of disorders. Scleroderma is a combined meaning from two Greek words: ‘skleros’ meaning hard and ‘derma’ meaning skin.

Primary Health Care. 23, 2, 22-24. doi: 10.7748/phc2013.



Conflict of interest

None declared

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Received: 10 October 2012

Accepted: 20 November 2012