Methods. The UK Systemic Sclerosis Study Group set up several working groups to develop a number of consensus best practice pathways for the management of SSc-specific complications, including cardiac disease. A multidisciplinary task force was convened. The guidelines were partly informed by a comprehensive literature review.
Results. A best practice pathway for cardiac disease (with a focus on primary cardiac disease) in SSc is presented, including approaches for early detection and standard pharmacological and device therapies. Due to the benefits, shared care and a multidisciplinary approach are recommended. A future research agenda has been formulated in response to the relative lack of understanding of the natural history of primary cardiac disease that was highlighted by the initiative.
Conclusion. The physician should be alert to the possibility of cardiac disease in SSc; it is best managed within a multidisciplinary team including both rheumatologists and cardiologists. This pathway provides a reference for all physicians managing patients with SSc.
- Journal Article