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Vol 23, No 3 (2017)
Review paper
Published online: 2017-09-28

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Use of sulodexide for the treatment of disorders of peripheral microcirculation in patients with systemic sclerosis

Irena Walecka1, Patrycja Wislinska, Anna Kulak, Marek Roszkiewicz
Acta Angiologica 2017;23(3):139-143.

Abstract

Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis, scleroderma) is a chronic, progressive autoimmune disease characterized by damage to blood vessels, the presence of autoantibodies, progressive hardening, atrophy of the skin and subcutaneous tissue and damage to many internal organs. In scleroderma we observe peripheral microcirculation disorders, in which small peripheral vascular abnormalities play an important role. Raynaud’s phenomenon is the most common manifestation of peripheral microcirculation disorders in the course of systemic sclerosis and concerns mainly the fingers. Treatment of patients with systemic sclerosis should be comprehensive and include education of patients, use of medication and rehabilitation. Drugs of first choice for the treatment of peripheral microcirculation disorders include calcium channel blockers, phosphodiesterase inhibitors, and prostaglandins. From our clinical experience gained in the treatment of microvascular disorders, sulodexide [a mixture of heparin (80%) and dermatan sulfate (20%)] seems to be a good and safe drug worth recommending. It works as an anticoagulant, pro-fibrinolytic, anti-inflammatory, inhibits the fibrosis process, and has protective effects on the vascular endothelial cells. Sulodexide is a safe rheological drug successfully used to treat a number of diseases accompanied by microcirculation disorders, including scleroderma.

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