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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2000 Nov;39(11):1269-71.

Clinical and laboratory features of scleroderma patients with pulmonary hypertension.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.



Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a frequent cause of death in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). In this study, we examined the occurrence of PH and investigated the clinical and laboratory features of SSc patients with PH.


A cross-sectional study of 125 Japanese patients with SSc was conducted using Doppler echocardiography, other multiple cardiopulmonary tests, and laboratory examination.


PH (systolic pressure >40 mmHg) was diagnosed in 20 patients (16%) by Doppler echocardiography. In the six patients who had secondary pulmonary hypertension (SPH), PH was due to severe pulmonary fibrosis; 14 patients had isolated pulmonary hypertension (IPH). An elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and increased immunoglobulin G (IgG) were found in a significantly greater proportion of the patients with PH than in those without PH. The incidence of pitting scars/ulcers was significantly greater in the patients with SPH than in those without PH.


Elevated ESR and increased IgG were common features of scleroderma patients with PH, and scleroderma patients with SPH were inclined to have pitting scars/ulcers.

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