Which respiratory findings are characteristic of scleroderma?

Updated: Sep 09, 2019
  • Author: Sergio A Jimenez, MD, MACR, FACP, FRCP(UK Hon); Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Respiratory findings are as follows:

  • Dry rales may be the only physical examination finding that suggests pulmonary involvement in systemic sclerosis

  • Patients may present with findings of aspiration pneumonia caused by aspiration of gastric contents due to lower esophageal sphincter incompetence

  • An accentuated pulmonic second heart sound (P2) or a right ventricular heave may indicate the presence of pulmonary artery hypertension

  • Blacks have a higher risk of developing pulmonary involvement and when it occurs it is of greater severity than in whites

    Lung biopsy demonstrating severe interstitial fibr Lung biopsy demonstrating severe interstitial fibrosis and medial fibrosis and smooth muscle hyperplasia of a pulmonary arteriole compatible with pulmonary hypertension.
    Lung biopsy demonstrating expansion of the interst Lung biopsy demonstrating expansion of the interstitium of the lung by fibrous tissue along with chronic inflammatory cells.

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