CREST syndrome

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CREST syndrome
Classification and external resources
ICD-10M34.1
ICD-9710.1
OMIM181750
DiseasesDB29764
MeSHD017675
 
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CREST syndrome
Classification and external resources
ICD-10M34.1
ICD-9710.1
OMIM181750
DiseasesDB29764
MeSHD017675

CREST syndrome, also known as the limited cutaneous form of systemic sclerosis (lcSSc) is a multisystem connective tissue disorder. The initialism "CREST" refers to the five main features: calcinosis, Raynaud's phenomenon, esophageal dysmotility, sclerodactyly and telangiectasia.[1] It is associated with detectable antibodies against centromeres (a component of the cell nucleus), and usually spares the kidneys (a feature more common in the related condition systemic scleroderma). If the lungs are involved, it is usually in the form of pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Signs and symptoms[edit]

Calcinosis[edit]

CREST/lcSSc causes thickening and tightening of the skin with deposition of calcific nodules ("calcinosis").

Raynaud's phenomenon[edit]

Raynaud's phenomenon is frequently the first manifestation of CREST/lcSSc, preceding other symptoms by years. Stress and cold temperature induces an exaggerated vasoconstriction of the small arteries, arterioles, and thermoregulatory vessels of the skin of the digits. Clinically this manifests as a white-blue-red transitions in skin color. Underlying this transition is pallor and cyanosis of the digits, followed by a reactive hyperemia as they rewarm. In contrast to uncomplicated primary Raynaud phenomenon, this occurrence is often painful.[2] Frequently this phenomenon leads to digital ulcerations, gangrene, or amputation. Ulceration can predispose to chronic infections of the involved site.

Esophageal dysmotility[edit]

Presents as a sensation of food getting stuck (dysphagia) in the mid or lower esophagus, atypical chest pain, or cough. Patients often state they must drink liquids to swallow solid food. This motiltiy problem results from atrophy of the gastrointestinal tract wall smooth muscle.[2] This change may occur with or without pathologic evidence of significant tissue fibrosis.

Sclerodactyly[edit]

Though it is the most easily recognizable manifestation, it is not prominent in all patients. Thickening generally only involves the skin of the fingers distal to the metacarpophalangeal joints in CREST. Early in the course of the disease, the skin may appear edematous and inflammed. Eventually, dermal fibroblasts overproduce extracellular matrix leading to increased tissue collage deposition in the skin. Collagen cross-linking then causes a progressive skin tightening. Digital ischemic ulcers commonly form on the distal fingers in 30-50% of patients.[2]

Telangiectasias[edit]

Marked telangiectasias (dilated capillaries) occur on the skin of the face, the palmar surface of the hands, and the mucous membranes. Telangiectasias tend to be more numerous in those patients with other scleroderma related vascular disease (ie, pulmonary arterial hypertension). The number of telangiectasias and the sites involved tend to increase over time.[2]

Other[edit]

Other symptoms of CREST syndrome can be exhaustion, weakness, difficulties with breathing, dizziness and badly healing wounds.

Patients with lcSSc commonly induce pulmonary artery hypertension which may result in cor pulmonale (heart failure due to increased pulmonary artery pressure).

Etiology[edit]

Crest syndrome involves the production of autoimmune anti-nuclear and anti-centromere antibodies, though their etiology is not currently understood. There is no known infectious cause.

Treatment[edit]

Disease progression may be slowed with immunosuppressives and other medications, and esophageal reflux, pulmonary hypertension and Raynaud phenomenon may benefit from symptomatic treatment. However, there is no cure for this disease as there is no cure for scleroderma in general.

Epidemiology[edit]

CREST syndrome can be noted in up to 10% of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis.[3]

History[edit]

The combination of symptoms was first reported in 1964 by R.H. Winterbauer, at that point a medical student at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Winterbauer RH (1964). "Multiple telangiectasia, Raynaud's phenomenon, sclerodactyly, and subcutanious calcinosis: a syndrome mimicking hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia". Bulletin of the Johns Hopkins Hospital 114: 361–83. PMID 14171636. 
  2. ^ a b c d Hummers, L.K. "CURRENT Rheumatology Diagnosis & Treatment, 3e". New York: McGraw-Hill. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  3. ^ Talwalkar, JA; Lindor, KD (2003 Jul 5). "Primary biliary cirrhosis.". Lancet 362 (9377): 53–61. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(03)13808-1. PMID 12853201.