Scleroderma Diagnosis

How will your doctor diagnose you with this condition? Learn about the tests, exams, processes, and other information relating to the diagnosis of Scleroderma below.


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How to Diagnose Scleroderma

There are no specific tests that can completely confirm or eliminate the possibility of scleroderma.

Your doctor may be able to diagnose scleroderma by taking a careful history of your symptoms and performing a thorough physical examination. Your doctor will look for classic skin changes associated with scleroderma, including calcium deposits under the skin and changes in the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) at the base of your fingernails. The skin changes of scleroderma are often characteristic enough to allow your doctor to accurately diagnose the condition.

If there are any questions, your doctor may recommend other tests to confirm the diagnosis or to evaluate how severely your internal organs are involved.

Such tests may include:

Blood Tests -A number of blood tests can point towards the presence of scleroderma. These include:

  • Rheumatoid factor
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
  • Antinuclear antibody
  • Scleroderma antibody
  • Anticentromere antibody

Imaging Tests -These tests can visualize the internal organs to see how the disease has affected them. Specific areas of the body to be examined with imaging tests may be chosen based on your symptoms. Imaging tests include:

  • X-rays-a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body
  • CT Scans -a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the body
  • MRI Scans -a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the body
  • Nailfold capillaroscopy-This test involves looking at a magnified view of the nailfold to examine the capillaries.

Skin Biopsy -A small sample of skin may be removed and examined in a laboratory for specific characteristics that suggest scleroderma.


Learn what Scleroderma is
What It Is
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Scleroderma Causes
What causes Scleroderma? Learn what the medical community has uncovered.
Scleroderma Risk Factors
Risk Factors
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Scleroderma Diagnosis
How will your doctor diagnose you with this condition? Learn about the tests, process, and more.
Scleroderma Symptoms
What are the Scleroderma symptoms? Are you showing any? Learn more today.
Scleroderma Complications
Can this condition lead to other health problems? Learn more about the known complications.

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Screening for Scleroderma
Learn more about the specific tests or exams given by your doctor to screen for Scleroderma.
Scleroderma Medications
What medications offer relief or help with this condition? Are there side effects? Risks? Learn more.
Scleroderma Prevention
How can you prevent Scleroderma? Read what the medical community suggests for prevention methods.
Scleroderma Treatment
Can this condition be treated? What Scleroderma treatment options are available?
Scleroderma Care
Learn more about the day to day care of this condition. Changes to your activity, diet, exercise, and more.
Scleroderma Doctors
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Do you need to contact a doctor about Scleroderma? Select a location to find a specialist in your area.

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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright ©2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved. Source: EBSCO