Potential use of TNF-α inhibitors in systemic sclerosis

Giuseppe Murdaca, Francesca Spanò, Miriam Contatore, Andrea Guastalla, Francesco Puppo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare connective tissue disease characterized by chronic inflammation and fibrosis of the skin, vascular abnormalities and variable involvement of organs. TNF-α has a central role in initial host response to infections and in the pathogenesis of various systemic immune-mediated diseases. Serum levels of TNF-α are elevated in patients with SSc and favor the development of pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary arterial hypertension. Inflammatory arthritis can occur in patients with SSc. Infliximab and etanercept may improve the inflammatory arthritis and disability in SSc. TNF-α inhibitors reduce the systemic inflammation, improve the endothelial function decreasing the risk of pulmonary arterial hypertension progression and of acute cardiovascular and/or cerebrovascular events. Physicians need to be aware of the potential risks of tuberculosis reactivation and opportunistic infections. Randomized controlled trials with TNF-α inhibitors in patients with SSc are needed to confirm the potential role of these agents in the treatment of SSc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-289
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • systemic sclerosis
  • TNF-α inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Oncology
  • Immunology
  • Medicine(all)


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