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Fatal scleroderma renal crisis caused by gastrointestinal bleeding in a patient with scleroderma, Sjögren's syndrome and pr

Posted Feb 11 2010 12:00am

A 57-year-old female patient presented with a long history of overlapping autoimmune disease, including limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis, Sjögren's syndrome and primary biliary cirrhosis. Another unusual finding was that the mild skin involvement (limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis, subcutaneous calcinosis) was combined with serious internal organ involvement, including honeycombing and finally scleroderma renal crisis.

The most important finding was, that two decades later she developed severe telangiectasia of the gastrointestinal and urinary tract. Furthermore, a specific type of vascular malformation, i.e. gastric watermelon stomach was also found.

The chronic gastrointestinal bleeding primarily derived from a watermelon stomach caused protein overload, which provoked the onset of the scleroderma renal crisis that finally led to the patient's death.

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