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Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by vasculopathy and excessive collagen production leading to fibrosis of the skin and internal organs. SSc patients are at risk of developing pulmonary hypertension (PH), a debilitating, progressive condition of the pulmonary vasculature that leads to right heart failure and death. This review is an updated summary of the epidemiology and risk factors for PH in SSc. We describe the current literature examining the incidence, prevalence, and demographic and clinical risk factors associated with PH in SSc. We also discuss classical and novel autoantibodies and potential biomarkers that may be helpful in the assessment of risk and prognosis of PH in SSc patients. The ultimate objective in understanding the risk of developing PH in SSc is early diagnosis and early initiation of appropriate therapy with the hope for improved outcomes for patients with SSc-PH.


Aaliya Yaqub, Lorinda Chung. Epidemiology and risk factors for pulmonary hypertension in systemic sclerosis. Current rheumatology reports. 2013 Jan;15(1):302

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PMID: 23292818

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