Diagnostic criteria, severity classification and guidelines of systemic sclerosis

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Several effective drugs have been identified for the treatment of systemic sclerosis (SSc). However, in advanced cases, not only their effectiveness is reduced but they may be also harmful due to their side-effects. Therefore, early diagnosis and early treatment is most important for the treatment of SSc. We established diagnostic criteria for SSc in 2003 and early diagnostic criteria for SSc in 2011, for the purpose of developing evaluation of each organ in SSc. Moreover, in November 2013, the American College of Rheumatology and the European Rheumatology Association jointly developed new diagnostic criteria for increasing their sensitivity and specificity, so we revised our diagnostic criteria and severity classification of SSc. Furthermore, we have revised the clinical guideline based on the newest evidence. In particular, the clinical guideline was established by clinical questions based on evidence-based medicine according to the New Minds Clinical Practice Guideline Creation Manual (version 1.0). We aimed to make the guideline easy to use and reliable based on the newest evidence, and to present guidance as specific as possible for various clinical problems in treatment of SSc.

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