Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 1123–1127 | Cite as

Anti-fibrotic nintedanib—a new opportunity for systemic sclerosis patients?

  • Ana Catarina Duarte
  • Maria José Santos
  • Ana Cordeiro
Case Based Review


Systemic sclerosis is a connective tissue disease characterized by progressive skin thickening and a wide spectrum of internal organ involvement. Pathogenesis includes vasculopathy, inflammation, and fibrosis. Although immunosuppressants such as cyclophosphamide and mycophenolate mofetil have shown some benefit in interstitial lung disease management, it is still a major cause of morbi-mortality in these patients. Therefore, there is a current need for new therapies. Here, we report a 65-year-old female patient with limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis, anti-topoisomerase-positive and extensive lung disease. The patient developed progressive lung fibrosis under several immunosuppressants and was started on nintedanib, with clinical and functional stabilization. Nintedanib is a tyrosine-kinase inhibitor that blocks several profibrotic pathways, inhibiting proliferation and migration of fibroblasts and decreasing the synthesis of extracellular matrix proteins. It is approved for idiopathic lung fibrosis and has demonstrated good results in inhibiting migration and proliferation of systemic sclerosis dermal fibroblasts, constituting a promising agent for systemic sclerosis-associated lung fibrosis.


Anti-fibrotic therapy Interstitial lung disease Nintedanib Systemic sclerosis 


Compliance with ethical standards




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Copyright information

© International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Catarina Duarte
    • 1
  • Maria José Santos
    • 1
  • Ana Cordeiro
    • 1
  1. 1.Rheumatology DepartmentHospital Garcia de Orta EPEAlmadaPortugal

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