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Hypertensive Emergency in a Woman with Systemic Sclerosis


Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare autoimmune disease that causes fibrosis in the skin and subcutaneous tissue, involving other organs such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract. Additionally, it can cause pulmonary arterial hypertension. Scleroderma renal crisis (SRC) is one of the most dreadful complications of SSc. SRC is a medical emergency that can present as a clinical picture of hypertensive encephalopathy. The pathophysiology involves an abrupt onset of moderate to severe hypertension that ranges from days to weeks; it is associated with an increase in plasma renin activity and acute kidney injury. It is known that by introducing angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, the mortality decreases significantly in SRC. The renal biopsy plays an important role on the diagnosis and opportune treatment. We present a clinical case of SRC with a typical presentation of hypertensive emergency and acute kidney injury.

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Correspondence to Julio C. Sauza-Sosa.

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Sauza-Sosa, J.C., Zenteno-Langle, R. & Zamora-Medina, M.C. Hypertensive Emergency in a Woman with Systemic Sclerosis. High Blood Press Cardiovasc Prev 27, 597–599 (2020).

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  • Hypertensive emergency
  • Hypertensive encephalopathy
  • Scleroderma renal crisis
  • Systemic sclerosis