Systemic sclerosis is associated with a wide range of symptoms, which can vary greatly from one person to another. It is very important to provide an accurate diagnosis and an individually tailored treatment for each patient. Particularly at the onset, the disease should be assessed in detail, while in its further course it should be regularly monitored (e.g. yearly). In the last years, new treatments for systemic sclerosis have become available, leading to better outcomes. Our SSc Centre has a solid expertise in diagnosing, monitoring and treating patients with systemic sclerosis.
This is a short inpatient assessment for patients with systemic sclerosis, featuring a close interdisciplinary collaboration of physicians from various disciplines, specialists in occupational therapy, physiotherapy, nursing and wound experts. As a multi-organ disease, systemic sclerosis requires the involvement of various medical disciplines and medical professionals. The short inpatient assessment is particularly suitable for patients with a new diagnosis or a severe course of the disease.
This is a standardized annual assessment for patients with systemic sclerosis or an early form of systemic sclerosis, aimed to detect any progression of the disease at an early stage and to treat it accordingly. On the same day, echocardiogram, electrocardiography, pulmonary function, 6-minute walk test, capillary microscopy, thorax CT and laboratory tests are usually performed. After these investigations, patients are seen same-day by a rheumatologist specialized in systemic sclerosis. Based on the findings, the disease is staged and a treatment plan for the coming year is developed.
Systemic sclerosis is a rare rheumatic disease and therefore needs to be addressed by a specialized centre, in a multidisciplinary approach. If left untreated/uncontrolled, mortality over the entire course of certain forms of the disease is high. Although the disease is still considered “chronic” and “incurable”, treatment success has increased significantly over the last years, due to the various targeted therapies available. Since the disease is very complex, treatment/care tailored to the individual patient is very important. Due to these individual differences, some patients “only” need regular check-ups by specialists, while others need comprehensive treatment (medication, therapists).
Within our Systemic Sclerosis Centre, rheumatologists with extensive expertise in this field are closely cooperating with other departments of the University Hospital Zurich, in particular with the Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, the Department of Pneumology, the Institute of Diagnostic Radiology and the Department of Cardiology. In addition, our unit is involved in many national and international collaborations for clinical and basic research. Our Systemic Sclerosis Centre is a leading participant in international research initiatives.
Systemic sclerosis consultation
Systemic sclerosis is a rare systemic autoimmune disease. The disease shows a very heterogeneous individual expression with different needs of the affected persons. A differentiated assessment by specialists is therefore extremely important.
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