Proteinuria in systemic sclerosis: reversal by ACE inhibition

Rheumatol Int. 2013 Sep;33(9):2225-30. doi: 10.1007/s00296-013-2691-6. Epub 2013 Feb 28.


In systemic sclerosis (SSc), kidney damage is a major clinical problem which can lead to a deleterious outcome. Recently, in diabetes mellitus, early detection of proteinuria and treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors has been shown to slow progression of kidney disease and to improve prognosis. In this study, we investigated the spontaneous course of proteinuria in SSc and the effects of ACE inhibitor therapy. Proteinuria was determined in SSc patients with urine protein electrophoresis. SSc patients with proteinuria (n = 31) were followed over a median of 12 months. Of all 31 patients with pathologic urine protein electrophoresis investigated in this study, 9 patients (29 %) had additional microalbuminuria and 4 patients (12.9 %) showed increased total urinary protein. ACE inhibitor treatment was subsequently given to 23 patients. A total of 8 patients remained untreated for various reasons. Proteinuria resolved in 74 % of patients treated with ACE inhibitors, whereas in the untreated group, remission was observed only in 25 % (p = 0.014). Improvement of proteinuria was predominantly achieved in patients with recently diagnosed proteinuria and short disease duration. In patients with SSc and proteinuria, initiation of ACE inhibitor therapy resulted in a significant decrease in proteinuria.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Albuminuria / drug therapy
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proteinuria / drug therapy*
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / complications*


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors