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Vascular System

The Vascular System is defined as the vessels and tissues that circulate blood in the body. The most common example of vascular system involvement in scleroderma is Raynaud Phenomenon. (See more by clicking on the hands).

A vascular disease is a condition that affects blood carrying vessels. Most often, vascular disease affects blood flow, either by blocking or weakening blood vessels, or by damaging the valves that are found in veins. Organs may be damaged by vascular disease as a result of decreased or blocked blood flow.

Endothelium is the layer of cells that cover the interior surface of the blood vessels. Scleroderma results in damage to these endothelium cells. The cause of this damage is currently unknown.

Not only is scleroderma a disease of vascular injury, it is a disease of inadequate vascular repair. Once these vessels have been damaged it is difficult for a scleroderma patient’s body to repair the damage. Vascular system damage is attributed to PAH (see more by clicking on lungs).

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