Epidemiology and treatment of peripheral neuropathy in systemic sclerosis
AlMehmadi BA, To FZ, Anderson MA, Johnson SR
The Journal of rheumatology. 2021
OBJECTIVE The epidemiology and treatment of peripheral neuropathy in systemic sclerosis (SSc) is poorly understood. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the incidence, prevalence, risk factors, and treatments of peripheral neuropathy in SSc. METHODS A systematic review of Medline, Embase and CINAHL databases for literature reporting peripheral neuropathy in SSc was performed. Studies evaluating incidence, prevalence, risk factors, and treatments were synthesized. Meta-analysis using a random effects model was used to evaluate the prevalence of peripheral neuropathy. RESULTS 113 studies reported 949 subjects with at least one type of peripheral neuropathy out of 2143 SSc patients studied. The mean age was 48.5 years. The mean time between SSc onset and detection of peripheral neuropathy was 8.85 years. The pooled prevalence of neuropathy was 27.4% (95%CI 22.4% - 32.7%). Risk factors for peripheral neuropathy in SSc included advanced diffuse disease, anticentromere antibodies, calcinosis cutis, ischemia of the vasa nervosum, iron deficiency anemia, metoclopramide, pembrolizumab, silicosis and uremia. There were 73 subjects with successful treatments (n=36 restoring sensation, n=37 restoring motor or sensorimotor function). Treatments included decompression surgery, prednisone, cyclophosphamide, carbamazepine, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, tricyclic antidepressants and IVIG. CONCLUSION All-cause peripheral neuropathy is not uncommon in SSc. Compression neuropathies can be treated with decompression surgery. Observational data reporting immunosuppressive and anticonvulsants to treat peripheral neuropathy in SSc is limited and conflicting. This data provides the signal of effect to justify RCT to evaluate the efficacy of these interventions.