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In this study, we investigate the possibility of detecting, by dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE), the presence of early or subclinical myocardial functional changes in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) without symptoms of ischaemic cardiac involvement.
Thirty consecutive patients with SSc (26 women and four men; mean age 51 years, range 28–73 years), with a mean disease duration of 8 years (range 1–21 years), were studied. In all, 16 of 30 patients with SSc were affected by diffuse cutaneous (dc)-SSc, and the remaining 14 patients had limited cutaneous (lc)-SSc. The study was approved by the local ethics committee, and all patients gave informed consent to participate. All patients fulfilled the American College of Rheumatology preliminary classification criteria for SSc.1 Table 1 lists the …