Scleroderma pulmonary arterial hypertension: the same as idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension?

Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2023 Sep 1;29(5):380-390. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0000000000001001. Epub 2023 Jul 14.


Purpose of review: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a common complication of systemic sclerosis (SSc), which confers significant morbidity and mortality. The current therapies and treatment strategies for SSc-associated PAH (SSc-PAH) are informed by those used to treat patients with idiopathic PAH (IPAH). There are, however, important differences between these two diseases that impact diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes.

Recent findings: Both SSc-PAH and IPAH are incompletely understood with ongoing research into the underlying cellular biology that characterize and differentiate the two diseases. Additional research seeks to improve identification among SSc patients in order to diagnose patients earlier in the course of their disease. Novel therapies specifically for SSc-PAH such as rituximab and dimethyl fumarate are under investigation.

Summary: Although patients with SSc-PAH and IPAH present with similar symptoms, there are significant differences between these two forms of PAH that warrant further investigation and characterization of optimal detection strategies, treatment algorithms, and outcomes assessment.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Familial Primary Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary* / diagnosis
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary* / drug therapy
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary* / etiology
  • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension* / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension* / drug therapy
  • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension* / etiology
  • Scleroderma, Systemic* / complications