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Systemic sclerosis following human cytomegalovirus infection
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  1. C Ferri1,
  2. M Cazzato1,
  3. D Giuggioli1,
  4. M Sebastiani1,
  5. C Magro2
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Rheumatology Unit, University of Pisa, Pisa Italy
  2. 2Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor C Ferri, Dipartimento Medicina Interna, Reumatologia, Via Roma 67, 56126 Pisa, Italy;
    c.ferri{at}int.med.unipi.it

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Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a connective tissue disease characterised by skin and visceral organ involvement.1,2 The cause of SSc is still unknown; it has been suggested that one or more factors may be responsible for the disease through a complex pathogenic mechanism.3,4 Immune system dysregulation, collagen hyperproduction by altered fibroblasts, and vascular alterations can variably contribute to SSc development. The presence of Raynaud's phenomenon and diffuse microangiopathy suggests that endothelial injury may represent the first step in the pathogenesis of the disease.4 Numerous genetic, environmental, and infectious agents have been proposed as possible triggering factors.3–6 Among these, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection may play a part in the pathogenesis of the SSc owing to its ability to …

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