Because scleroderma can take so many forms and affect so many different areas of the body, it can be difficult to diagnose.
After a thorough physical exam, your doctor may suggest blood tests to check for elevated blood levels of certain antibodies produced by the immune system. He or she may remove a small tissue sample (biopsy) of your affected skin so that it can be examined in the laboratory for abnormalities.
Your doctor may also suggest breathing tests (pulmonary function tests), a CT scan of your lungs and an echocardiogram of your heart.
June 21, 2016
- Scleroderma. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Scleroderma. Accessed March 28, 2016.
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- Denton CP. Overview and classification of scleroderma disorders. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 28, 2016.
- AskMayoExpert. Scleroderma. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Shah AA, et al. My approach to the treatment of scleroderma. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2013;88:377.
- Denton CP. Overview of the treatment and prognosis of systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 28, 2016.
- Coping with scleroderma. Scleroderma Foundation. http://www.scleroderma.org/site/PageServer?pagename=patients_coping#.VvmLT9j2aic. Accessed March 28, 2016.