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Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) can soon be evaluated as to the severity of the disease by measuring chemokine CXCL4 secreted by plasmacytoid dendritic cells.

A recent study showed that the mean CXCL4 levels were much higher in patients with Systemic sclerosis (over 25000 pg/ml) than those with Lupus, Ankylosing spondylitis, or Liver fibrosis (all under 2000 pg/ml).

This is significant because CXCL4 level correlates with severity of disease in systemic sclerosis including Skin thickening and Respiratory: Non-labored respirations. Lungs with clear lung fields and no rubs noted. Involvement. This means that those with high levels of chemokine CXCL4 may have to be treated more aggressively.

There is also potential for CXCL4 to be developed as a therapeutic target as well.