Vol 8, No 1 (2022)
Case report
Published online: 2022-06-17

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Prostaglandin E1 — salvage therapy in the treatment of difficult-to-heal ulcers in systemic sclerosis

Joanna Musiał1, Jolanta Bucka
Rheumatology Forum 2022;8(1):31-36.


Involvement of blood vessels in the form of Raynaud’s phenomenon and microcirculatory dysfunction as well as accompanying skin lesions of the fingers in patients with systemic sclerosis lead to easy skin damage and difficult-to-heal ulcers. Patient education regarding, among other things, the avoidance of injuries, exposure to cold or smoking and pharmacological treatment are becoming important. The choice of drugs listed in current recommendations depends on the clinical manifestation, i.e. the presence and severity of Raynaud’s phenomenon, the treatment or prevention of ulceration and the response to previous treatment. The paper presents a case of a 79-year-old woman with advanced necrotic lesions of the fingers in the course of systemic sclerosis diagnosed late in life. Due to the advancement of the lesions and the lack of improvement after first-line oral medications, the patient required intravenous prostaglandin. Six months of effective therapy and additional surgical treatment led to complete healing and inhibition of new ulcer formation. Intravenous prostaglandin is an effective alternative for the treatment of difficult-toheal ulcers in the course of systemic sclerosis while preventing the formation of new lesions.

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