Hand in CREST syndrome

Hand in CREST syndrome

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Credit: DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Hand in CREST syndrome. Close-up of the swollen hand of a 69-year-old female patient with CREST syndrome. CREST is a form of scleroderma, a chronic, rheumatic autoimmune disease. It is an acronym for its five main features. Calcinosis - formation of calcium deposits in soft tissue; Raynaud's phenomenon - discolouration of the fingers and toes caused by decreased blood supply (seen here); Oesophageal motility disorder - difficulty in swallowing; Sclerodactyly - localised thickening and tightness of the skin of the fingers or toes; Telangiectasias - small dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin or mucous membranes. The condition has been related to previous Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria infections. There is no cure.

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