How is scleroderma diagnosed?
Diagnosis of scleroderma is usually based on the changes in your child's skin and internal organs. An antibody test may help distinguish the type of scleroderma present. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for scleroderma may include:
- electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) – a test that records the electrical activity of the heart, shows arrhythmias or dysrhythmias (abnormal rhythms), and detects heart muscle damage. An EKG may be done to detect changes in the EKG pattern which may be caused by the disease.
- echocardiogram – a procedure that evaluates the structure and function of the heart by using sound waves recorded on an electronic sensor that produce a moving picture of the heart and heart valves.
- x-ray – a diagnostic test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones and organs onto film. X-rays may detect changes in bone and soft tissues, the gastrointestinal tract and the lungs caused by scleroderma.