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[Digestive involvement of scleroderma].

La Revue du Praticien 2002 November 2
Digestive involvement in systemic sclerosis is frequent and serious, because it provides morbidity and fatality. From the pathophysiologic point of view, the first step could be Raynaud-associated neural dysfunction, followed by smooth muscle atrophy then irreversible muscle fibrosis. Oesophageal disorder is common with its main consequence: the occurrence of gastroesophageal reflux disease which could run into peptic erosive oesophagitis. Oesophageal manometry is the main diagnostic tool, gastrointestinal endoscopy helps to assess oesophageal mucosal inflammation and its possible sequels. Gastric involvement is rarely recognized but it is frequent in case of systematic investigation as well as small intestinal involvement which may provide a lot of complications: malabsorption, pseudoobstruction, bacterial overgrowth. At colonic level, anorectal involvement is frequent and leads to fecal incontinence and rectal prolapse. Reynold's syndrome is a special case which associates systemic sclerosis with primary biliary cirrhosis. The symptomatic treatments must be systematic and improve the disease's overall prognosis.

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