An Update on Systemic Sclerosis and its Perioperative Management

Zyad J. Carr, John Klick, Brittany J. McDowell, Jean G. Charchaflieh, Kunal Karamchandani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Systemic sclerosis or scleroderma (SSc) is a systemic, immune-mediated disease characterized by abnormal cutaneous and organ-based fibrosis that results in progressive end-organ dysfunction and decreased survival. SSc results in significant challenges for the practicing anesthesiologist due to its rarity, multi-system involvement, and limited evidence-based guidance for optimal perioperative care. In this update, we briefly discuss the recent evidence on the pathophysiology and current management of SSc, review the anesthesia-related literature, and extrapolate these observations into an optimal perioperative strategy for the care of SSc patients. Recent Findings: Evidence shows that patients with SSc demonstrate an increased risk for perioperative myocardial infarction, high rates of interstitial lung disease, pulmonary arterial hypertension, neurological disease, gastric dysmotility disorders, and challenging airway management, all findings that may result in suboptimal perioperative outcomes. Summary: Advances in SSc medical management have resulted in improved survival, likely increasing the number of patients who will be exposed to perioperative care. Optimal perioperative management and risk stratification should expand beyond the well-described airway challenges and consider numerous systemic manifestations of systemic sclerosis such as pulmonary arterial hypertension, interstitial lung disease, and cardiac sequelae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-521
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Anesthesiology Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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