What are the treatment options for CREST syndrome?

Updated: Oct 05, 2020
  • Author: Jeanie C Yoon, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

The diagnosis of CREST syndrome carries with it both physical and psychological consequences, so a holistic approach to patient care should be taken. An evaluation of organ involvement, patient education regarding the clinical course, patient and family support, and treatment based on disease severity and organ involvement are necessary. [62, 63]

A pilot study of multidisciplinary patient education for persons with systemic sclerosis showed that patients may benefit from meeting others with the disease, may learn more about the disease, and may actually experience some pain relief. [64]

Depression affects approximately 45% of patients with systemic sclerosis and 64% also develop anxiety; thus, early assessment and treatment of these psychological issues is recommended. [65, 66]

European investigators have been conducting phase I and II studies on the use of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for severe systemic sclerosis, and randomized trials are proceeding. Only further research and time will tell if this is a useful therapy for severe scleroderma in the future. [67]

Tamoxifen has been studied for use in patients with scleroderma and CREST syndrome, but it was not shown to be efficacious. [68]


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