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Reumatologia. 2018;56(1):24-30. doi: 10.5114/reum.2018.74745. Epub 2018 Feb 28.

Clinical pattern of systemic sclerosis in Central Ukraine. Association between clinical manifestations of systemic sclerosis and hypertension.

Author information

Internal Medicine 2, State Establishment "Dnipropetrovsk Medical Academy of Health Ministry of Ukraine".
Rheumatology Department, Municipal institution "Mechnikov Dnipropetrovsk regional clinic", Dnipro, Ukraine.



Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare disease of connective tissue, manifestations of which may vary in different geographical areas. We aimed to describe the clinical portrait of patients with SSc in Dnipropetrovsk region and to investigate how initial clinical and laboratory characteristics are connected with the presence of hypertension in SSc onset.

Material and methods:

Patients were enrolled to this study from the registry of SSc patients, established in the Rheumatology Department, Mechnikov Dnipropetrovsk Regional Clinic, Dnipro. This registry contains histories of new cases of SSc from 1993 to 2014. Patients are followed-up and receive treatment according to EULAR and local standards. Diagnosis of SSc was based on ACR and EULAR Criteria for systemic Sclerosis. Two patients developed scleroderma renal crisis during follow-up. This report is a cross-sectional study. We analysed only data of the first visit to a rheumatologist.


In total 148 patients (median age [IQR] - 47 [40; 52] years) fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Male/female ratio was 1 : 20.1. The most frequent clinical signs were Raynaud's phenomenon and arthritis. The prevalence of skin lesion in dcSSc patients was twice as high as in lcSSc patients. Pulmonary fibrosis occurred significantly more commonly in dcSSc patients. Hypertension occurred in 26-33% in both groups. Patients with hypertension at the SSc onset were seven years older than normotensive patients. More hypertensive patients were classified as lcSSc. Mean GFR was dramatically lower in hypertensive patients.


The most common clinical form in our study was diffuse cutaneous subset of SSc. Hypertension in patients with SSc may be associated with local cutaneous subset of SSc and renal impairment. The strongest predictors of clinical form of SSc are signs of fibrosis (skin lesion and pulmonary fibrosis) and inflammation (arthritis and elevated CRP).


arterial hypertension; registry; systemic sclerosis

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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