The CREST syndrome refers to a disorder comprising the manifestations of calcinosis, Raynaud's phenomenon, esophageal dysfunction, sclerodactyly, and telangiectasia. Thirteen CREST patients (two with CRST) were compared with 26 patients with systemic sclerosis but without the full manifestations of the CRST syndrome. No significant difference was found between the groups in the age of onset of Raynaud's phenomenon, degree of multiphasic digital color changes, ulcerations of fingers, sclerodactyly, or in the frequency of abnormal esophageal peristalsis or dysphagia. Laboratory results were similar, including the frequency of an elevated ESR. However, the CREST patients had a significantly lower frequency of arthralgia (54%) and arthritis (15%) than did those with scleroderma (88% and 65%, respectively). All but one of the CREST patients were women, which was a greater proportion than found among scleroderma cases (69%), and all were white (P <.05). Most patients with the CREST syndrome had rather severe acrosclerosis. At last evaluation, four patients were chronically ill and three had died. The CREST and CRST syndromes are closely related disorders that seem to be part of the spectrum of systemic sclerosis.
(Arch Intern Med 139:1240-1244, 1979)