Systemic Sclerosis Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Apr 16, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Spider angiomas may be found in person with alcoholism. Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia is also a consideration. Pheochromocytoma may occasionally mimic scleroderma. [31]

Scleroderma due to taxanes may mimic systemic sclerosis. Taxane chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer may show marked edema first, followed by skin sclerosis occurring mainly at the distal ends of the extremities 6-12 months after the administration of taxane, in all patients. Although skin biopsy samples may show (1) full-layer dermal fibrosis with thickened collagen bundles and (2) perivascular monocytic cell infiltration, resembling systemic sclerosis in clinical course and histological findings, Raynaud phenomenon, pulmonary fibrosis, and immunological abnormalities associated with systemic sclerosis may not be detected. [32]  Clinical overlap of morphea and systemic sclerosis has stimulated considerable interest. [33]

Differential Diagnoses