What are some symptoms of pulmonary scleroderma?


Quick Answer

Symptoms of pulmonary scleroderma include shortness of breath and sometimes a nonproductive cough, according to the University of Michigan Department of Internal Medicine. The patient also tires easily during physical exertion. The lungs of most patients with scleroderma are compromised, and this sometimes leads to disability or death.

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Full Answer

Scleroderma, which is an autoimmune disease, affects the lungs in different ways, according to University of Michigan Department of Internal Medicine. It may scar the lungs or inflame the lung tissue. This is known as interstitial lung disease. To diagnose interstitial lung disease, the doctor needs to run tests to check the forced vital capacity and the diffusing capacity of the lungs. The first test shows how much the volume of the lungs is affected if the lung tissue is scarred. The second test shows how easy it is for oxygen to pass from the air sacs in the lungs to the blood. If the air sacs are scarred or inflamed, or if the blood vessels in the lungs are damaged, the amount of oxygen that reaches the blood is reduced.

Scleroderma also causes pulmonary hypertension, says the University of Michigan Department of Internal Medicine. Scleroderma causes the blood vessels to narrow as the lung tissue is damaged.

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