Systemic sclerosis

Systemic sclerosis is a multisystem connective tissue disease.

Key clinical manifestations include:

  • Scleroderma (skin thickening) 
  • Raynaud's phenomenon (episodic colour changes of the fingers usually in response to cold)

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust is a referral centre for patients with systemic sclerosis and there is an active programme of clinical and scientific research investigating pathophysiology, epidemiology, measurement and treatment. This programme involves collaboration between several clinicians and scientists at the University of Manchester, and with other members of the UK Systemic Sclerosis Study Group.

Research projects

Current research projects include:

  • Immunogenetic studies 
  • Immunohistochemical studies of skin biopsies 
  • The incidence of childhood scleroderma 
  • Measurement of microvascular (small blood vessel) structure and function (techniques include nailfold capillaroscopy and laser Doppler imaging) 
  • Participation in an observational study examining different treatments for diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (this last project is UK-wide, co-ordinated by the UK Scleroderma Study Group) 

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