Prediction of progression of interstitial lung disease in patients with systemic sclerosis: the SPAR model

Ann Rheum Dis. 2018 Sep;77(9):1326-1332. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2018-213201. Epub 2018 Jun 6.


Objectives: To identify the predictive clinical characteristics and establish a prediction model for the progression of mild interstitial lung disease (ILD) in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc).

Methods: Patients with SSc from two independent prospective cohorts were included in this observational study. All patients fulfilled the 2013 American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism criteria, had mild ILD at baseline diagnosed by High-Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT), available baseline and ≥1 annual follow-up pulmonary function tests and no concomitant pulmonary hypertension or airflow obstruction. ILD progression was defined as a relative decrease in forced vital capacity (FVC)%≥15%, or FVC%≥10% combined with diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide %≥15% at 1-year follow-up. Candidate predictors for multivariate logistic regression were selected by expert opinion based on clinical significance. A prediction model for ILD progression was established in the derivation cohort and validated in the multinational validation cohort.

Results: A total of 25/98 and 25/117 patients with SSc showed ILD progression in the derivation cohort and the validation cohort, respectively. Lower SpO2 after 6 min walk test (6MWT) and arthritis ever were identified as independent predictors for ILD progression in both cohorts. The optimal cut-off value of SpO2 after 6MWT for predicting ILD progression was determined as 94% by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. The derived SPAR model combining both predictors (SPO2 and ARthritis) increased the prediction rate from 25.5% to 91.7% with an area under the curve (95% CI) of 0.83 (0.73 to 0.93).

Conclusions: The evidence-based SPAR prediction model developed in our study might be helpful for the risk stratification of patients with mild SSc-ILD in clinical practice and cohort enrichment for future clinical trial design.

Keywords: arthritis; pulmonary fibrosis; systemic sclerosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Disease Progression
  • Exercise Test / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / drug therapy
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / etiology*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Diffusing Capacity
  • ROC Curve
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / complications*
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / drug therapy
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / physiopathology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Vital Capacity


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Oxygen