Expert agreement on EULAR/EUSTAR recommendations for the management of systemic sclerosis

J Rheumatol. 2011 Jul;38(7):1326-8. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.101262. Epub 2011 Apr 1.


Objective: The European League Against Rheumatism/EULAR Scleroderma Trials and Research group (EULAR/EUSTAR) has published recommendations for the management of systemic sclerosis (SSc). Members of the Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium and the Canadian Scleroderma Research Group were surveyed regarding their level of agreement with the recommendations.

Methods: A survey containing the 14 EULAR/EUSTAR recommendations asked participants to indicate their level of agreement with each on a 10-point scale, from 0 (not at all) to 9 (completely agree). The survey was sent to 117 people, and 66 replies were received (56% response rate).

Results: Exceptions to generally high agreement included the use of iloprost and bosentan for digital vasculopathy, methotrexate for skin involvement, and bosentan and epoprostenol for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH; all < 69% agreement, defined as ≥ 7 rating). Vasculopathy and PAH treatment had differences in agreement between North America and Europe (p < 0.006). Respondents who were EULAR/EUSTAR recommendation authors shared a similar level of agreement compared to those who were not, except for the use of proton pump inhibitors for the prevention of SSc-related gastroesophageal reflux disease, esophageal ulcers, and strictures.

Conclusion: EULAR/EUSTAR recommendations were relatively well accepted among SSc experts. Overall reduced agreement may be due to the modest efficacy of some agents (such as methotrexate for the skin). Some regional disagreement is likely because of access differences.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bosentan
  • Canada
  • Epoprostenol / therapeutic use
  • Europe
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / drug therapy
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / etiology
  • Iloprost / therapeutic use
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use
  • North America
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / complications
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / drug therapy*
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy
  • Skin Diseases / etiology
  • Societies, Medical*
  • Sulfonamides / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Vascular Diseases / etiology


  • Sulfonamides
  • Epoprostenol
  • Iloprost
  • Bosentan
  • Methotrexate