• Systemic scleroderma and localized scleroderma (morphea) show comparable changes on skin biopsy specimens, and a distinction has often been made on the basis of Raynaud's phenomenon, organ involvement, and laboratory abnormalities characteristically seen in systemic scleroderma. Critical evaluation not only of patients with localized scleroderma but also of those with eosinophilic fasciitis, morphea profunda, and acral pansclerotic morphea has disclosed Raynaud's phenomenon, organ involvement, and laboratory abnormalities typical of systemic scleroderma in a small percentage of patients. Histologically, all five conditions show similar inflammation and sclerosis of the skin, the primary difference being the depth at which these changes occur. These conditions may possibly be related, and the clinical and laboratory differences observed may result from variations in depth, nature, and intensity of the cutaneous and subcutaneous inflammatory sclerosis.
(Arch Dermatol 1982;118:886-890)