Effects of cyclophosphamide on pulmonary function in patients with scleroderma and interstitial lung disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and observational prospective cohort studies

Arthritis Res Ther. 2008;10(5):R124. doi: 10.1186/ar2534. Epub 2008 Oct 20.


Introduction: The purpose of the present study was to systematically review the effect of cyclophosphamide treatment on pulmonary function in patients with systemic sclerosis and interstitial lung disease.

Methods: The primary outcomes were the mean change in forced vital capacity and in diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide after 12 months of therapy in patients treated with cyclophosphamide.

Results: Three randomized clinical trials and six prospective observational studies were included for analysis. In the pooled analysis, the forced vital capacity and the diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide predicted values after 12 months of therapy were essentially unchanged, with mean changes of 2.83% (95% confidence interval = 0.35 to 5.31) and 4.56% (95% confidence interval = -0.21 to 9.33), respectively.

Conclusions: Cyclophosphamide treatment in patients with systemic sclerosis-related interstitial lung disease does not result in clinically significant improvement of pulmonary function.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cyclophosphamide / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Lung / drug effects*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / drug therapy*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / etiology
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / complications
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / drug therapy*


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclophosphamide