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Scleroderma Week

Scleroderma Week

Welcome Message

It is my pleasure to welcome you to Scleroderma Week at the ATS. This marks the 6th Lung Disease Week this year.

Scleroderma is well known to our clinician members. Although it is a systemic disease that affects virtually all organs of the body, the pulmonary manifestations are the most serious and most commonly associated with mortality. Scleroderma is commonly associated with pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive scarring process of the lungs that interferes with the ability to take up oxygen and makes the lungs stiffer. Another common manifestation is pulmonary hypertension, or high blood pressure in the lungs that is also progressive and impedes oxygen delivery to the tissues. Esophageal problems commonly associated with scleroderma predispose to aspiration of stomach contents into the lungs add to breathing problems and contributing to scarring and infections.

Many ATS members are very concerned about these pulmonary manifestations and work hard to combat them by taking care of patients directly, researching the problems while trying to better understand them, and seeking better ways to treat them. We have made some progress treating pulmonary hypertension, but we have few ways to treat fibrosis or halt the progression of scleroderma itself.

With our PAR partner, Kerri Connolly of the Scleroderma Foundation, we plan to cover many of these issues in a variety of ways during Scleroderma week by providing educational materials online, presenting podcasts presented by ATS experts, and connecting patients to patients and caregivers for mutual support and dissemination of information.  We welcome you to Scleroderma Week at the ATS and hope you find this week very valuable and a helpful resource.

Nicholas Hill, MD

Nicholas Hill, MD
ATS Past President

Kerri Connolly

Kerri Connolly
Director of Programs
and Services
Scleroderma Foundation

ATS Scleroderma Disease Partner – Scleroderma Foundation


The Scleroderma Foundation is the national organization for people with scleroderma and their families and friends. It was formed January 1, 1998, by a merger between the West Coast-based United Scleroderma Foundation and the East Coast-based Scleroderma Federation. Their three-fold mission is based on furthering support, education, and research for scleroderma and related diseases.