The Scleroderma Clinic specializes in providing comprehensive care for people with scleroderma and related conditions. Scleroderma, also called systemic sclerosis, is a complex autoimmune disease that can affect many organ systems besides the skin. During your visit to the Scleroderma Clinic, a scleroderma specialist will review your medical history and perform a comprehensive examination to identify the extent and severity of disease and systemic disease complications (vascular, joint, heart, lung, gastrointestinal, neurological, among others) and develop a therapeutic plan unique to you. Clinic staff will coordinate any testing and consultations that are needed to expedite your care and simplify your life.
To develop comprehensive and individualized therapeutic plans, scleroderma specialists work closely with experts from other specialties, including:
- Interstitial lung disease
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Gastrointestinal motility
- Nephrology — kidney
- Cardiology pulmonary hypertension — heart
- Vascular medicine and wound care
In addition to scleroderma and systemic sclerosis, specialists also evaluate and treat Raynaud's (both primary and secondary) and other fibrosing conditions, including eosinophilic fasciitis, scleromyxedema and morphea that can mimic scleroderma.
Mayo Clinic doctors use state-of-the-art imaging modalities, including nailfold video capillaroscopy, for early detection of vascular changes that may help diagnose scleroderma and other scleroderma spectrum disorders, such as mixed connective tissue disease, dermatomyositis and others. Blood flow to the fingers, which can be compromised in scleroderma for different reasons, can be fully assessed using laser Doppler flowmetry, available in the vascular medicine lab.
In people with digital ulcers from severe Raynaud's, vascular wound care experts help teach you the best ways to care for your wounds to improve healing. They also review arterial flow pumps (intermittent pneumatic compression pump therapy), which may help improve blood flow and can be particularly helpful in those who cannot tolerate traditional medicines for Raynaud's due to low blood pressure.
Physical therapists and occupational therapists work with you to help you maintain mobility and strength, and nurses can assist with education about scleroderma and Raynaud's, as well as medications and their monitoring.
Mayo Clinic doctors are committed to improving the lives of people with this condition through innovative clinical research. Researchers conduct epidemiologic clinical research and study ways to detect and prevent complications from the disease process — particularly heart and lung disease in scleroderma among others. Mayo Clinic also participates in multicenter clinical trials for skin involvement, interstitial lung disease and Raynaud's. The goal is to identify better treatments for scleroderma and provide options to those not responding to conventional treatment. Mayo Clinic is an active member of the Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium.