Gastrointestinal involvement in systemic sclerosis: pathogenesis, assessment and treatment

Elizabeth R. Volkmann, Zsuzsanna McMahan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of reviewThe majority of patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) will experience involvement of their gastrointestinal over the course of their disease. Despite the high prevalence of gastrointestinal involvement in SSc, the strategies pertaining to the assessment and treatment for this clinical dimension of SSc have historically been limited. However, the present review highlights recent research contributions that enhance our understanding of SSc-GI patient subsets and provides updates on pathogenic mechanisms of disease, assessment and symptom-directed management.Recent findingsIn the past few years, several studies have identified risk factors for more severe gastrointestinal disease in SSc and have provided insight to optimize diagnosis and management of SSc-GI symptoms. This article also provides a review of currently available investigations and therapies for individual SSc-GI disease manifestations and reflects on actively evolving areas of research, including our understanding the role of the gut microbiome in SSc.SummaryHere, we provide important updates pertaining to the risk stratification, assessment, diagnosis and management of SSc patients with gastrointestinal symptoms. These findings provide opportunities to enhance patient care and highlight exciting opportunities for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-336
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent opinion in rheumatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022


  • gastrointestinal tract
  • microbiome
  • motility
  • scleroderma
  • systemic sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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