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High Resolution CT Lung in Scleroderma

Dr. Mandana Nikpour - Dept of Medicine, University of Melbourne , St. Vincents Hospital


Over the past five years Dr Nikpour has received extensive awards and academic achievements including the Canadian Rheumatology Association Awared for the best original research abstract in 2006. She has a significant number of publications and has presented orally at over 10 national and international meetings.

Although scleroderma (Sc) may affect many parts of the body, the lung is one of the most frequently involved organs. Lung disease is the commonest cause of scleroderma-related death. The thickening and scarring of lung tissue is known as pulmonary fibrosis (PF). To date, there have been few treatments for scleroderma-related pulmonary fibrosis (SSc-PF) and these treatments are often associated with considerable side effects.  Over the past decade, high resolution CT (HRCT) scanning of the lungs has changed the way we diagnose Scl-PF and, in most patients, eliminated the need for invasive lung biopsy. However, the role of HRCT in determining the likely outcome of patients with SSc-PF and in monitoring the progression of pulmonary fibrosis over time has not been fully tested. The aim of this study is to determine the role of HRCT scans in predicting the outcome of patients with SSc-PF, and to define the role of repeated HRCT scans in assessing worsening in SSc-PF.