Are statins useful for treating vascular involvement in systemic sclerosis?

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SUMMARYResearch suggests that statins could be useful to treat vascular manifestations related to systemic sclerosis, but data on their potential clinical benefits remain limited. Previous studies suggested that statins increase the number of circulating endothelial precursor cells, and thereby improve the severity of Raynaud's phenomenon. Abou-Raya et al. have published the first randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial on the effect of statins on clinical outcomes in the vascular manifestations of systemic sclerosis. They observed significant reductions in the overall number of digital ulcers and in the mean number of new digital ulcers per patient in the statin group. In addition, statin-treated patients experienced significant improvements in disability scores and functional status. The data from this study indicate that statins might improve endothelial function, thereby contributing to clinical, functional recovery. These results pave the way for large studies on the use of statins in vascular complications related to systemic sclerosis.

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