To the Editor: Scleroderma is a systemic autoimmune disease featuring variable organ involvement as well as Raynaud's phenomenon (RP). To date, no studies exist on the effect of systemic body temperature elevation on the severity of RP. Water-filtered near-infrared (infrared A (IRA)) irradiation is particularly effective in transdermal heat delivery (Meffert and Sonnichsen, 1974;Meffert et al, 1989;Meffert and Meffert, 2000). Prompted by preliminary findings (Meffert et al, 1990), we here examined the effect of IRA treatment on RP. We employed fingertip rewarming in response to cold challenge (Wise et al, 2004;Foerster et al, in press) as well as a clinical activity score (Merkel et al, 2002) as outcome variables. In addition, we explored the effect of IRA treatment on skin thickness and scleroderma-associated joint pain. Methods, a study flow chart, as well as immediate effects of IRA treatment are detailed in the online supplement. Because of the specified inclusion criteria (see Tables S1–S3), patients were in stable-disease phase.
- Infrared radiation
- Raynaud Disease therapy