Objective: Scleroderma renal crisis (SRC) is a severe manifestation of SSc, whose prognosis remains severe, despite treatment with angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor and dialysis. This study was undertaken to describe SRC characteristics, prognosis and outcome, and evaluate the responsibility of CSs in its occurrence.
Methods: Analysis concerned 91 SSc patients with SRC who were compared with 427 non-SRC-SSc patients taken as controls.
Results: Among the 91 SRC patients, 71 (78.0%) had high blood pressure, 53 (58.2%) hypertensive encephalopathy and 51 (56.0%) thrombotic microangiopathy; 64 (70.3%) had received CSs before or concomitantly with SRC vs 156 (36.5%) non-SRC-SSc patients (P < 0.001). Treated SRC patients also received more prednisone 29.3 (28.4) vs 3.6 (9.9) mg than controls (P < 0.001). SRC clinical outcomes were poor: 49 (53.8%) patients required dialysis, which was definitive for 38. Thirty-seven (40.7%) SRC patients died vs 10.8% of the controls (P < 0.001). Death was most frequent among dialysed patients who never recovered renal function (22 vs 2) and 13 never-dialysed SRC patients died.
Conclusions: Although SRC prognosis has improved markedly, SRC remains a severe manifestation of SSc, despite treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor and dialysis. CSs contributed significantly to SRC occurrence.