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The frequency of pericardial involvement in Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) is high on autoptic or echocardiographic studies, but the clinical recognition of pericarditis with or without effusion is rare. We describe a case of a 71-year-old female with no previous history of heart disease, who presented with a large pericardial effusion and tamponade that required pericardial drain. She had suffered from Raynaud’s phenomenon since 25 years. Six weeks after hospital discharge she complained of skin hardening on left leg. Pericardial tamponade is a very rare manifestation of SSc and occurs both early or late in the course of the disease, but in our case it preceded the recognition of scleroderma. We have only identified two other cases of pericardial effusion preceding cutaneous involvement in scleroderma.
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