Tests and diagnosisBy Mayo Clinic staff
Your doctor may conduct the following tests:
- Blood tests. People with scleroderma usually have elevated blood levels of certain antibodies produced by the immune system.
- Tissue sample. Your doctor may remove a small tissue sample (biopsy) of your affected skin to be examined in the laboratory for abnormalities.
- Skin assessment. Your doctor ideally evaluates the condition of your skin in 17 specific areas to determine the level of skin involvement, which provides a clue to the likelihood that you also have life-threatening changes happening to internal organs.
Based on the outcome of your initial evaluation, your doctor may also recommend other diagnostic tests to identify any lung, heart, kidney or gastrointestinal complications accompanying scleroderma.
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- Hummers LK, et al. Scleroderma. In: Imboden JB, et al. Current Rheumatology Diagnosis & Treatment. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Medical; 2007. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aid=2725959. Accessed Aug. 31, 2010.
- Denton CP. Classification of scleroderma disorders. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 1, 2010.
- Varga J. Risk factors and possible causes of systemic sclerosis (scleroderma). http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 1, 2010.
- Varga J. Overview of the clinical manifestations of systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 1, 2010.
- What is a rheumatologist? American College of Rheumatology. http://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/rheumatologist.asp. Accessed Sept. 1, 2010.
- Varga J, et al. Systemic scleroderma and the scleroderma-spectrum disorders. In: Firestein GS, et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: W.B. Saunders Company; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/217753976-2/0/1807/575.html?tocnode=55733367&fromURL=575.html#4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3285-4..10077-4_2830. Accessed Sept. 1, 2010.