Three patients were seen with similar findings of progressive systemic scleroderma. Two of the patients, a father and son, had very similar skin changes, sclerodactyly, Raynaud phenomenon, gastrointestinal involvement, and pulmonary symptoms. The three patients were from the highly inbred Brandywine triracial isolate. This isolate is a group of families who have been inbreeding since 1660 and now have the highest gene frequencies for sickle cell anemia and oculocutaneous albinism in the United States. There have been only a few reported cases of familial scleroderma and the hereditary aspect of the disease has not been well established. This report shows that the mortality for scleroderma in this isolate is at least 250 times the mortality of the general population, thus suggesting a probable genetic predisposition for the disease.
Greger RE. Familial Progressive Systemic Scleroderma. Arch Dermatol. 1975;111(1):81–85. doi:10.1001/archderm.1975.01630130083011