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Table 3 Clinical and histological characteristics according to immunosuppressive/immunomodulatory treatment and clinical outcome in the 28 patients with SSc

From: Characterization of inflammatory cell infiltrate of scleroderma skin: B cells and skin score progression

  Immunosuppressive treatment (12 patients) No immunosuppressive treatment (16 patients) P
Age (years), mean (SD) 39.3 (13.9) 48.6 (16.2) ns
Female/male, number 10/2 14/2 ns
Disease duration (months), mean (SD) 42.8 (100.3) 45.8 (41.5) ns
Early/longstanding disease, number 10/2 9/7 ns
dSSc/lSSc number 11/1 9/7 0.05
Skin score baseline, mean (SD) 21.1 (10.9) 11.9 (10.6) 0.03
Anti-scl-70 antibodies positivity, number (%) 10 11 ns
ACA positivity, number 0 3
ANA positivity, number 2 2
Presence of CD20+ cell in skin biopsy, number (%)a 8 (66.7) 9 (56.3) ns
CD20+ in clinically involved skin, mean (SD) 2.3 (3.1) 3.4 (6.3) ns
CD20+ in clinically uninvolved skin, mean (SD) 1.5 (3.3) 0.9 (1.6) ns
CD138+ in clinically involved skin, mean (SD) 3.5 (1.5) 3.8 (2.9) ns
CD138+ in clinically uninvolved skin, mean (SD) 1.7 (1.8) 2.2 (2.1) ns
CD3+ in clinically involved skin, mean (SD) 62.0 (28.9) 78.9 (37.4) ns
CD3+ in clinically uninvolved skin, mean (SD) 43.7 (40.2) 47.2 (33.9) ns
CD68+ in clinically involved skin, mean (SD) 25.3 (9.1) 38.0 (7.4) ns
CD68+ in clinically uninvolved skin, mean (SD) 14.4 (5.7) 12.3 (6.9) ns
Skin score after 6-month follow up, mean (SD) 11.3 (6.9) 13.0 (10.9) ns
Patients with decrease >20% of skin score after 6-month follow upb 11 (91.7) 3 (18.7) 0.01
Patients with worsening >20% of skin score after 6-month follow up 0 (0.0) 7 (56.3) 0.01
Patients with CD20 + cells on skin biopsy 0 (0.0) 7 (77.8)
Patients without CD20+ cells on skin biopsy 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0)
  1. The values are indicated as the mean (SD) or number (percentage) according to the data distribution
  2. SSc systemic sclerosis, ANA antinuclear antibodies, ACA anticentromere antibodies, anti-Scl-70 anti-topoisomerase antibodies, dSSc diffuse skin disease, lSSc limited skin disease, ns not significant
  3. aPresence of at least one CD20+ cell in involved or uninvolved skin biopsy
  4. bIn this subgroup, six patients had CD20+ cells in uninvolved skin and were treated with immunosuppressive drug, while none of the untreated patients had CD20+ cells (p = 0.002)