The clinical and laboratory features in Turkish systemic sclerosis patients: a single-center experience.
ABSTRACT Progressive systemic sclerosis is a multisystem disease characterized by vascular abnormalities, connective tissue sclerosis, atrophy, and presence of autoantibodies. Our clinic has been treating these patients for nearly 30 years, and we wanted to present the clinical and laboratory features of our patients and also to discuss the difference between Turkish patients and others. Systemic sclerosis patients who have applied to our rheumatology clinic from April 1981 to December 2010 were all collected in a medical database, and the data of 169 patients were analyzed. The clinical situations of these patients were all analyzed retrospectively, and their treatment protocols, survival analysis, laboratory data, and radiologic evaluations were all recorded. Totally, 196 patients applied to our clinic with a diagnosis of SSc, but 27 of them gave up coming follow-up visits, and the remaining 169 patients were all analyzed; 153 (90.5%) were women, the median age of diagnosis was 39 (17-75), and 79.3% had diffuse type of SSc. Of all, 159 (94.1%) patients had Raynaud's phenomenon, and 119 (70.4%) had radiologically proved pulmonary fibrosis; 82.2% were positive for ANA and 63.9% were positive for antitopoisomerase-1 antibody. The mean follow-up period was 109 (9-516) months, and 155 (91.7%) patients were still alive at the time of analysis. Only 2 patients had renal crisis, and 6 (3.55%) patients developed secondary malignancies due to cyclophosphamide therapy. We presented our 30-year experience with SSc patients, their survival results, laboratory and clinical aspects, and also the difference of our Turkish SSc patients with the others in the world.