Objectives: Limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis (LcSSc) is the most common subset of SSc but it has been overlooked in the past years. At a time at which clinical trials focus on diffuse cutaneous SSc (DcSSc) we aimed at clarifying the outcomes of LcSSc and at evaluating whether potential drug positioned in DcSSc may also be used in LcSSc. Methods: The EUSTAR database was used to investigate skin, lung and peripheral vasculopathy outcomes in LcSSc. Worsening of skin fibrosis, ILD and peripheral vasculopathy were defined by an increase in modified Rodnan skin score (mRSS) > 3.5 points, a decrease of FVC > 10% in patients with ILD at baseline, and by the development of new digital ulcers (DU) in patients without DU at baseline. Results: 8013 LcSSc and 4786 DcSSc patients were included. In contrast to DcSSc, skin disease was remarkably stable in the majority of LcSSc patients with >80% having a change lower than ±4 units of mRSS at 12, 24 and 36 months follow-up. Conversely, FVC changes over time were very similar between LcSSc and DcSSc. Regarding DU, numbers of patients with new DU over time seemed to be almost similar between the two subsets. Conclusions: LcSSc patients have a low mRSS at baseline with marginal changes with time. Conversely, SSc-ILD can be as progressive as in DcSSc supporting the inclusion of LcSSc patients in SSc-ILD trials and suggesting potential benefit of any anti-ILD drugs. Similarly, although slightly less common, DU should receive the same attention in the two subsets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102452
JournalAutoimmunity Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 02.2020

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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