Pulmonary Hypertension in Scleroderma- Evaluation and Management

Dis Mon. 2023 Jul;69(7):101468. doi: 10.1016/j.disamonth.2022.101468. Epub 2022 Sep 24.


Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) is a clinical syndrome consisting of physiologic/hemodynamic criteria that are a consequence of several etiologies. Systemic Sclerosis (SSc), one of the most common causes of PAH, is an autoimmune disorder of the connective tissue leading to fibrosis that involves the skin, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, heart, kidney etc. SSc has an annual prevalence of one to five cases for every 1000 individuals and nearly 15 percent of all cases develop PAH. At its core, Pulmonary hypertension (PH) in SSc is an obliterative vasculopathy in small to medium-sized pulmonary arterioles. A host of other local and systemic mechanisms operate in concert to gradually alter the hemodynamics resulting in elevated pulmonary vascular resistance and thus right ventricular afterload. A diagnosis of PAH in SSc is virtually a death sentence, with studies reporting a mortality rate of 50 per cent in the 3 years of diagnosis. Therefore, developing and implementing a robust screening and diagnosis protocol is crucial in the fight against this pervasive disease. This review aims to summarize the current literature of PAH in SSc, with a special focus on the screening and diagnosis protocols, newer treatment options and prognostic indicators for the same.

Keywords: Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension; Scleroderma; Systemic Sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary* / diagnosis
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary* / etiology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary* / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Scleroderma, Systemic* / complications
  • Scleroderma, Systemic* / diagnosis
  • Scleroderma, Systemic* / therapy