Efficacy of cilostazol for the treatment of Raynaud’s phenomenon in systemic sclerosis patients

Simone Negrini, Francesca Spanò, Elena Penza, Daniela Rollando, Francesco Indiveri, Gilberto Filaci, Francesco Puppo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cilostazol is a selective inhibitor of phosphodiesterase-III with antiplatelet, antithrombotic and vasodilating properties. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effect of the drug on vasculopathy and Raynaud’s phenomenon (RP), in a series of patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc), before and after cilostazol treatment. Twenty-one consecutive SSc patients with moderate or severe RP were enrolled in an open-label study. Cilostazol was administered at the dose of 100 mg twice a day, for 12 months. Evaluations included: daily RP attack diary documenting the frequency and duration of RP episodes, Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index, scleroderma visual analogue scales (VAS), flow-mediated dilation and immunological status, including endothelin 1 and interleukin 6 plasma levels. Thirteen patients completed the study. RP duration and daily number episodes recorded over a 3-week period significantly decreased after cilostazol treatment (p = 0.0049 and p = 0.0067, respectively). VAS score indicated a significant amelioration of the patients’ perception of RP (p = 0.0117), and both baseline and post-ischemic brachial artery diameters were significantly increased after cilostazol treatment, as compared with basal values (p = 0.0119 and p = 0.0076, respectively). None of the patients developed digital ulcers during the study. A significant clinical improvement of RP was recorded in SSc patients undergoing cilostazol treatment. Study results indicate a potential role of cilostazol as oral maintenance therapy in SSc patients with RP.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical and Experimental Medicine
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jun 19 2015


  • Cilostazol
  • Raynaud phenomenon
  • Scleroderma
  • Systemic sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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