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Development of systemic sclerosis in transgender females: a case series and review of the literature

1, 2, 3, 4

  1. Centre for Rheumatology and Connective Tissue Diseases, University College London, UK.
  2. Centre for Rheumatology and Connective Tissue Diseases, University College London, UK.
  3. Centre for Rheumatology and Connective Tissue Diseases, University College London, UK.
  4. Centre for Rheumatology and Connective Tissue Diseases, University College London, UK. c.denton@ucl.ac.uk

CER10843 Submission on line
Full Papers

Rheumatology Article

 

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic, autoimmune connective tissue disease with a female predominance. The reason for the female predilection in SSc may relate to the difference in hormones between the genders. There are no current data on the influence male-to-female sex transition may have in the development of SSc. We report three patients who developed SSc after initiating the transgender process, and review current literature in regards to transgender patients with connective tissue disease (CTD).
METHODS:
We describe the clinical features and disease course of three transgender patients who developed SSc after their transition from male-to-female, who presented to our centre. Two additional transgender cases de- scribed in the literature with CTD were included in this review.
RESULTS:
All three patients developed SSc after having started the hormonal therapy required to transition. Two patients had surgical procedures preceding their diagnosis of SSc. Antibody profile, time of onset and disease features differed among our patients. Hormonal therapies were continued in all patients and they received the standard therapy for SSc. One patient died from complications of her disease. Only two cases describing the development of CTD in transgender patients were identified in the literature and both of these patients were diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
CONCLUSIONS:
This case series suggests that the hormonal modification as part of gender transition may be relevant in development of SSc. No further conclusions can be drawn on the continuation or not of HT.

PMID: 29465362 [PubMed]

Received: 25/09/2017 - Accepted : 22/01/2018 - In Press: 19/02/2018