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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


A 45-Year-Old Man with Scleroderma Renal Crisis Associated with a History of Systemic Sclerosis Sine Scleroderma

Challenging differential diagnosis, Unusual setting of medical care, Rare disease

Panupong Hansrivijit, Kelechi F. Omeonu, Halimat O. Lawal, Mounika Gangireddy, Kinjal P. Gadhiya, Ravinder S. Dhatt

USA Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Pinnacle, Harrisburg, PA, USA

Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e927030

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.927030

Available online: 2020-10-13

Published: 2020-11-24


BACKGROUND: The diagnosis of systemic sclerosis sine scleroderma (ssSSc) with renal crisis is difficult because of its unusual presentation and rarity.
CASE REPORT: A 45-year-old man presented to the Emergency Department with worsening nausea, vomiting, and exertional dyspnea for 3 weeks. Initial examination showed blood pressure 182/108 mmHg without skin thickening or other skin manifestations. Laboratory investigations showed serum creatinine level 21.73 mg/dL and diffuse airspace opacities on chest radiography. He was admitted to the intensive care unit and started on emergent hemodialysis. He was anemic and became gradually hypoxic, requiring supplemental oxygen. Computed tomography of the chest showed bilateral infiltrates. Antinuclear antibodies (ANA) were positive for centromere pattern with titer of 320. Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies and antiglomerular basement membrane antibodies were negative. He was started on therapeutic plasmapheresis (TP) and captopril, which resulted in significant improvement of respiratory symptoms. The kidney biopsy revealed thrombotic microangiopathy. Anticentromere, anti-Scl-70, and antiribonucleic acid polymerase III antibodies, drawn after 4 sessions of TP, were not detected.
CONCLUSIONS: Here we report a rare case of ssSSc with renal crisis in a patient who presented with acute renal failure requiring hemodialysis and suspected pulmonary hemorrhage. Clinical improvement was achieved by TP and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor. The diagnosis of ssSSc was difficult and required an ANA pattern and kidney biopsy.

Keywords: acute kidney injury, Scleroderma, Diffuse, Scleroderma, Limited, systemic vasculitis, Thrombotic Microangiopathies