Scleroderma Patients with Combined Pulmonary Hypertension and Interstitial Lung Disease

Betty Chang, Fredrick M. Wigley, Barbara White, Robert A. Wise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Objective. Most studies differentiate scleroderma associated pulmonary hypertension and interstitial lung disease (ILD) as 2 separate pathological processes, concentrating on one or the other; however, many patients have both conditions. We studied the demographics, clinical features, and prognosis of individuals with both vascular and interstitial lung disease. Methods. A retrospective cross-sectional study of 619 patients with scleroderma who had echocardiograph and pulmonary function testing performed within 6 months of one another. Echocardiography determined the presence of pulmonary hypertension, and pulmonary function testing documented restrictive ventilatory defect (RVD) as a marker of ILD. Results. Among the study group, 139 (22.5%) patients had isolated RVD; 119 (19.2%) isolated pulmonary hypertension; and 112 (18.1%) patients had combined RVD and pulmonary hypertension. The individuals with combined RVD and pulmonary hypertension resembled patients with isolated RVD in that they had a high prevalence of diffuse skin involvement and antitopoisomerase positivity, but they were older at diagnosis and at disease onset (p < 0.01). Among those with mild RVD, 39.2% had pulmonary hypertension compared to those with severe RVD, in whom 51.4% had pulmonary hypertension. Compared to those without pulmonary disease, the mortality risk ratio for patients with isolated pulmonary hypertension, combined RVD and pulmonary hypertension, and isolated RVD was 2.9, 2.4, and 1.61, respectively. Conclusion. Patients with combined scleroderma lung disease features are more likely to have diffuse disease, represent older patients, and have a prognosis similar to individuals with isolated pulmonary hypertension, and may represent a distinct subpopulation of scleroderma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2398-2405
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Scleroderma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology


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