Update on biomarkers in systemic sclerosis: tools for diagnosis and treatment

Alsya J. Affandi, Timothy R.D.J. Radstake, Wioleta Marut

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48 Citations (Scopus)


Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a complex autoimmune disease in which immune activation, vasculopathy, and extensive fibrosis of the skin and internal organs are among the principal features. SSc is a heterogeneous disease with varying manifestations and clinical outcomes. Currently, patients’ clinical evaluation often relies on subjective measures, non-quantitative methods, or requires invasive procedures as markers able to predict disease trajectory or response to therapy are lacking. Therefore, current research is focusing on the discovery of useful biomarkers reflecting ongoing inflammatory or fibrotic activity in the skin and internal organs, as well as being predictive of future disease course. Recently, remarkable progress has been made towards a better understanding of numerous mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of SSc. This has opened new possibilities for the development of novel biomarkers and therapy. However, current proposed biomarkers that could reliably describe various aspects of SSc still require further investigation. This review will summarize studies describing the commonly used and validated biomarkers, the newly emerging and promising SSc biomarkers identified to date, and consideration of future directions in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-487
Number of pages13
JournalSeminars in immunopathology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarker
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Skin fibrosis
  • Systemic sclerosis
  • miRNAs

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