Introduction/objectives: The study aims to define the clinical and subclinical calcinosis prevalence, the sensitivity of radiographed site and clinical method for its diagnosis, and the phenotype of Portuguese systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients with calcinosis. Method: A cross-sectional multicenter study was conducted with SSc patients fulfilling Leroy/Medsger 2001 or ACR/EULAR 2013 classification criteria, registered in the Reuma.pt. Calcinosis was assessed through clinical examination and radiographs of hands, elbows, knees, and feet. Independent parametric or non-parametric tests, multivariate logistic regression, and sensitivity calculation of radiographed site and clinical method for calcinosis detection were performed. Results: We included 226 patients. Clinical calcinosis was described in 63 (28.1%) and radiological calcinosis in 91 (40.3%) patients, of which 37 (40.7%) were subclinical. The most sensitive location to detect calcinosis was the hand (74.7%). Sensitivity of the clinical method was 58.2%. Calcinosis patients were more often female (p = 0.008) and older (p < 0.001) and had more frequently longer disease duration (p < 0.001), limited SSc (p = 0.017), telangiectasia (p = 0.039), digital ulcers (p = 0.001), esophageal (p < 0.001) and intestinal (p = 0.003) involvements, osteoporosis (p = 0.028), and late capillaroscopic pattern (p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, digital ulcers (OR 2.63, 95% CI 1.02–6.78, p = 0.045) predicted overall calcinosis, esophageal involvement (OR 3.52, 95% CI 1.28–9.67, p = 0.015) and osteoporosis (OR 4.1, 95% CI 1.2–14.2, p = 0.027) predicted hand calcinosis, and late capillaroscopic pattern (OR 7.6, 95% CI 1.7–34.9, p = 0.009) predicted knee calcinosis. Anti-nuclear antibody positivity was associated with less knee calcinosis (OR 0.021, 95% CI 0.001–0477, p = 0.015). Conclusions: Subclinical calcinosis high prevalence suggests that calcinosis is underdiagnosed and radiographic screening might be relevant. Multifactorial pathogenesis may explain calcinosis predictors’ variability. Key Points • Prevalence of subclinical calcinosis in SSc patients is substantial. • Hand radiographs are more sensitive to detect calcinosis than other locations or clinical method. • Digital ulcers were associated with overall calcinosis, esophageal involvement and osteoporosis were associated with hand calcinosis, and late sclerodermic pattern in nailfold capillaroscopy was associated with knee calcinosis. • Anti-nuclear antibody positivity may be a protective factor for knee calcinosis.
- Systemic sclerosis