SYSTEMIC SCLEROSIS (SCLERODERMA, SSC)
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DEFINITION AND PATHOGENESIS
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a multisystem disorder characterized by thickening of the skin (scleroderma) and distinctive involvement of multiple internal organs (chiefly GI tract, lungs, heart, and kidney). Pathogenesis unclear; involves immunologic mechanisms leading to vascular endothelial damage and activation of fibroblasts.