Pulmonary function in progressive systemic sclerosis. Comparison of CREST syndrome variant with diffuse scleroderma

Chest. 1983 Nov;84(5):546-50. doi: 10.1378/chest.84.5.546.


The pulmonary function and chest roentgenograms were evaluated in 88 patients with the CREST syndrome variant of progressive systemic sclerosis (PSS or scleroderma). Seventy-two percent of the patients had abnormal pulmonary function. An isolated decrease in diffusing capacity was the most common abnormality noted, followed by restrictive abnormalities and airway obstruction. Chest roentgenograms revealed interstitial infiltrates consistent with pulmonary fibrosis in 33 percent. When compared to a contemporaneous group of 77 patients with PSS and diffuse scleroderma, patients with the CREST syndrome had similar abnormalities on pulmonary function testing and chest roentgenogram. However, patients with the CREST syndrome had a lower mean diffusing capacity despite a higher mean vital capacity; this combination of findings suggests primary pulmonary vascular disease. Calcified granulomata were identified significantly more often in PSS-CREST patients, while superior rib notching occurred exclusively in patients with PSS and diffuse scleroderma. The CREST variant of PSS is associated with frequent roentgenographic and pulmonary function abnormalities similar to those seen in PSS with diffuse scleroderma.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Calcinosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Lung Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ribs / diagnostic imaging
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / diagnostic imaging
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / physiopathology*
  • Syndrome