Oesophageal manometry in early and definite systemic sclerosis
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- Airò, P., Della Casa, D., Danieli, E. et al. Clin Rheumatol (2005) 24: 370. doi:10.1007/s10067-004-1049-6
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The objective of this study was to evaluate the oesophageal dysfunction in patients with “early” systemic sclerosis (SSc), as defined by LeRoy and Medsger, to compare it with that of patients with definite SSc, and to correlate it with other features of the disease. Oesophageal manometry results were retrospectively evaluated in 181 patients classified by the 2001 LeRoy and Medsger criteria and the 1980 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria: group 1: limited SSc: Raynaud’s phenomenon plus specific nailfold capillaroscopy abnormalities and/or autoantibodies; group 2: limited cutaneous SSc not satisfying the ACR criteria (lcSSc ACR−); group 3: lcSSc ACR+; group 4: diffuse cutaneous SSc. Peristaltic abnormalities in the oesophageal body were present in 73 of 125 patients with SSc ACR+ (groups 3 and 4) compared with 13 of 56 with SSc ACR− (groups 1 and 2) (p<0.0001). They were more severe in patients with more advanced disease (1 vs 2; 1 vs 3; 1 vs 4; 2 vs 4; p<0.05) and in patients anti-Scl-70+ than in patients anticentromere positive (p=0.02). Abnormalities of the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) were present in 35 of 125 patients with SSc ACR+ and 11 of 56 with SSc ACR− (not statistically different). They were correlated with forced vital capacity (FVC) (LES pressure: p=0.0005; LES length: p=0.0004). Abnormalities of the oesophageal body and of the LES were found in 21 and 16% of 46 patients without oesophageal symptoms. Oesophageal manometry can detect abnormalities in a sizeable proportion of patients with “early SSc” not fulfilling the ACR criteria, including asymptomatic patients. The correlation between LES abnormalities and FVC suggests a possible causal relationship between these disease manifestations.