• Diagnosis of Scleroderma

    There are no specific tests that can completely confirm or eliminate the possibility of scleroderma .
    Your doctor may be able to diagnose scleroderma by taking a careful history of your symptoms and doing a thorough physical examination. Your doctor will look for classic skin changes associated with scleroderma. These include calcium deposits under the skin and changes in the tiny blood vessels, called capillaries, at the base of your fingernails. The skin changes of scleroderma are often characteristic enough to allow your doctor to accurately diagnose the condition.
    If there are any questions, your doctor may recommend other tests to confirm the diagnosis or to evaluate how severely your internal organs are involved.
    Such tests may include:

    Blood Tests

    A number of blood tests can point towards the presence of scleroderma. These include:
    • C-reactive protein
    • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
    • Antinuclear antibody
    • Scleroderma antibody
    • Anticentromere antibody
    • Antimitochondrial antibodies

    Imaging Tests

    These tests can visualize the internal organs to see how the disease has affected them. Specific areas of the body to be examined with imaging tests may be chosen based on your symptoms. Imaging tests include:

    Skin Biopsy

    A skin biopsy involves removing a small sample of skin and examining it in a lab for specific characteristics that suggest scleroderma.

    Organ Specific Tests

    Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may order tests of other organs to see if they are involved in the disease process. These tests may include:


    Systemic sclerosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated August 5, 2013. Accessed August 8, 2013.

    Scleroderma. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Scleroderma/default.asp. Updated August 2012. Accessed August 8, 2013.

    What is scleroderma? Scleroderma Foundation website. Available at: http://www.scleroderma.org/site/PageServer?pagename=patients%5Fwhatis. Accessed August 8, 2013.

    Revision Information

  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    It's time to stop guessing. If you want to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease and prevent heart attacks. HeartSHAPE® is a painless, non-invasive test that checks pictures of your heart for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.