Scleroderma renal crisis: a review for emergency physicians

Tim Montrief, Alex Koyfman, Brit Long

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Scleroderma renal crisis (SRC) remains a high-risk clinical presentation, and many patients require emergency department (ED) management for complications and stabilization. This narrative review provides an evidence-based summary of the current data for the emergency medicine evaluation and management of SRC. While SRC remains a rare clinical presentation, surveillance data suggest an overall incidence between 4 and 6% of patients with scleroderma. The diagnostic criteria for SRC include a new onset blood pressure > 150/85 mm Hg OR increase ≥ 20 mm Hg from baseline systolic blood pressure, along with a decline in renal function, defined as an increase serum creatinine of ≥ 10% and supportive features. There are many risk factors for SRC, including diffuse and rapidly progressive skin thickening, palpable tendon friction rubs, and new anemia or cardiac events. Critical patients should be evaluated in the resuscitation bay, and consultation with the nephrology team for appropriate patients improves patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-570
Number of pages10
JournalInternal and Emergency Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Nephrology
  • Renal
  • Scleroderma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine


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