Scleroderma - a progressive disease with a characteristic change in the skin, musculoskeletal system and internal organs. The disease is an inflammatory lesion of small vessels of the body. Perhaps, the disease has a genetic predisposition. However, significantly provoking factors of its occurrence are such external hazards like hypothermia, vibration in the workplace, transferred infection of the nervous system. The development of inflammation of small blood vessels leads to the widening of collagen around them, and fibrous tissue, as well as specific changes in their walls - a thickening, loss of elasticity, perhaps even the complete closure of the lumen of small vessels.
These changes, in turn, lead to impaired blood supply to all organs and tissues involved in the pathological process. Inadequate blood supply to the tissues leads to thinning (eg, esophageal and stomach), or, alternatively, thickening (the wall of the alveoli in the lungs), a violation of their basic functions (absorption in the gastrointestinal tract, the excretion of carbon dioxide with light, the reduction of muscle fibers).
Clinical manifestations of scleroderma are very diverse, since the disease affects almost all organs and tissues.
It is characteristic skin lesions that occur in most patients with scleroderma. Diagnostic symptoms include masklike face (a very reduced facial expressions, producing the impression as if the person tightening of the skin) and the change of hands (fingers are thin and sedentary, with large nails and clubbing).
Change the vessels of the hands leads to the development of Raynaud's syndrome - a sharp cooling of vasospasm and pain in the fingers. Another lesion is a specific joint changes in scleroderma. They are manifested by inflammation with a fairly rapid violation of the mobility of the joints and the formation, so being named, contractures, ie stiffness due to the irreversible proliferation of fibrous tissue in the joint and loss of elasticity of the capsule.
Of the internal organs in scleroderma most frequently affects the kidneys, lungs, heart. Changes in them result in reduction of body functions. For example, if kidney disease is manifested the growth of kidney failure: kidney no longer properly filter toxins and nutrients, eventually accumulating in the blood of first, second and excreted in the urine from the body. As a result of the general intoxication of the organism develops in conjunction with the loss of protein and ions.
Many of the changes in scleroderma - for example, muscle and bone pain - may resemble the manifestations of rheumatic fever or rheumatoid arthritis. Differential diagnosis of these diseases is carried out on the basis of radiologic studies and immune tests.
In the treatment of scleroderma are the basic means of drugs that reduce vascular fibrosis - enzymes based lidazy or ronidazy, hyaluronic acid derivatives, and others. Pharmacological treatment is combined with physical therapy and exercise to prevent stiffness in the joints.