Chapter

Pulmonary Hypertension in Systemic Sclerosis

In book: Pulmonary Hypertension - From Bench Research to Clinical Challenges
Source: InTech
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the long-term effects of bosentan, an oral endothelin ET(A)/ET(B) receptor antagonist, in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) exclusively related to connective tissue diseases (CTD). A total of 53 patients with PAH related to connective tissue diseases (PAH-CTD) in World Health Organization (WHO) functional class III received bosentan 62.5 mg twice a day for 4 weeks and then 125 mg twice a day for 44 weeks in this open non-comparative study. Assessments at weeks 16 and 48 included WHO class, clinical worsening, quality of life (Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) and health assessment questionnaire (HAQ) modified for scleroderma), and survival (week 48 only). Safety and tolerability were monitored throughout the study. At week 48, WHO class improved in 27% of patients (95% CI 16-42%) and worsened in 16% (95% CI 7-29%). Kaplan-Meier estimates were 68% (95% CI 55-82%) for absence of clinical worsening and 92% (95% CI 85-100%) for survival. Overall changes in quality of life were minimal. There were no unexpected side effects observed during the study. In most patients, bosentan was associated with improvement or stability of clinical status. The 92% estimate for survival at 48 weeks is a significant achievement in this patient population.
    Annals of the rheumatic diseases 12/2007; 67(9):1222-8. · 8.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the longitudinal development of the tricuspid gradient (TG) for screening for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in systemic sclerosis (SSc). Doppler echocardiography was performed 506 times in order to estimate TG in 227 consecutive patients with SSc. The value of biochemical markers for predicting TG levels and development was assessed through analyses of pro-brain natriuretic peptide (proBNP), calcitonin-gene related peptide, thrombomodulin and von Willebrand factor in 76 patients with a borderline increase in TG, defined as TG 24-38 mmHg, and for the purpose of comparison also in 10 patients with a normal TG (< 23 mmHg) and in 10 patients with increased TG (TG > 38 mmHg). TG > 23 mmHg was found in 102 patients (44.9%) at the first assessment point and in 139 patients (61.2%) respectively, cumulatively at follow-up. TG values > 33 mmHg were measured in 24 patients (10.6%) initially and in 38 patients (16.7%) cumulatively in a subsequent assessment. Age and the presence of interstitial lung disease (ILD) were associated with more frequent occurrence of TG > 23 and > 33 mmHg initially and at follow-up, but were not associated with progression rate. The change in TG (mean +/- S.D.) was 1.34 +/- 4.55 mmHg/yr. ProBNP correlated to TG. An increased TG, indicating possible PAH, is common and progressive in SSc. Age and ILD increase the risk of increased TG. Patients with or without ILD have similar progression of TG. ProBNP has potential as an adjunct to TG in selecting patients eligible for invasive treatment.
    Rheumatology 03/2005; 44(3):366-71. · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether there are factors, such as the diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) or pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) on echocardiogram, that can predict the development of pulmonary hypertension (PHT) in patients with limited scleroderma. Using the large Pittsburgh Scleroderma Databank, 106 patients who had the diagnosis of PHT after January 1, 1982, were matched with 106 controls by scleroderma subtype, age, sex, race, disease duration, and the mean time to the diagnosis of PHT after the initial Pittsburgh visit. Autoantibodies, vascular features, use of calcium channel blockers, extent of pulmonary function, and echocardiogram findings were determined at any time prior to the diagnosis of PHT (or prior to the matched time in controls). Patients with PHT had a mean DLCO of 52% of predicted at an average of 4.5 years prior to the diagnosis of PHT. This was markedly decreased compared with the values in controls, whose mean DLCO was 81% of predicted (P < 0.0001). The estimated mean PAP on echocardiogram was only slightly higher in the PHT patients compared with controls (34 mm Hg versus 29 mm Hg; P not significant). Nineteen PHT patients had 4 serial measurements of the DLCO during the 15 years prior to the diagnosis of PHT. The initial mean DLCO was 80% of predicted, which decreased in a linear manner to a mean of 35% of predicted at the time of diagnosis of PHT, whereas the value in controls remained at approximately 80% of predicted (P < 0.0001). PHT patients had more severe Raynaud's phenomenon and more severe digital tip ulcers, but they used calcium channel blockers significantly less frequently (37% versus 61% of controls; P < 0.01). The predominance of nucleolar autoantibodies and the absence of anti-Scl 70 antibody were associated with PHT. A decreasing DLCO is an excellent predictor of the subsequent development of isolated PHT in limited scleroderma. The DLCO may be significantly decreased for many years prior to the diagnosis of PHT. The presence of autoantibodies and the PAP may also be helpful predictors. The long-term use of calcium channel blockers may be protective, but newer agents that are more effective in treating PHT may also be helpful in altering the natural history of this serious complication in limited scleroderma.
    Arthritis & Rheumatology 02/2003; 48(2):516-22. · 7.48 Impact Factor

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May 16, 2014