Systemic sclerosis is a generalized disease characterized mainly by the accumulation of collagen in the skin and internal organs. The aim of our study was to determine the amount of collagen cross-link pyridinoline (Pyd) in a variety of fibrotic tissues (skin, fascia, endocardium, bladder) from an autopsy patient with diffuse systemic sclerosis, and to compare these with normal tissues from the same patient. Mean concentrations of Pyd in the fibrotic skin samples (66 mmol/mol collagen) were more than two-times greater than those in the uninvolved normal samples (27 mmol/mol collagen). The increase of Pyd in the endocardium, fascia, and bladder was also markedly higher (1.41×, 1.26× and 2.64× higher than normal samples). The increased deposition of collagen in systemic sclerosis is accompanied by a significantly increased amount of Pyd in the collagen of fibrotic tissues.
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