The nurse is caring for a patient suspected of having systemic scleroderma. The nurse explains to the patient that systemic scleroderma

causes weakness in the majority of patients
is an autoimmune disease that affects connective tissue
is characterized by inflammation, fibrosis, and sclerosis


• Systemic scleroderma (also called systemic sclerosis) is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and sclerosis (hardening) of the skin, muscles, joints, lungs, kidneys, and heart.

• Common symptoms include weakness, pruritus, Raynaud's phenomenon, difficulty swallowing, edema, tight skin, shortness of breath, fatigue, and hypertension.

• Systemic scleroderma has a limited genetic link. It is believed to be triggered by exposure to chemicals or fetal cells circulating in the maternal blood.

• Incorrect: It is not caused by SLE or triggered by an adenovirus.

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