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Systemic connective tissue diseases (CTDs) comprise a large group of diseases that are auto-immune in nature and characterized by the involvement of multiple systems and organs. Pul-monary hypertension (PH) of various etiologies may develop in the course of CTD, including pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), PH secondary to the lung disease, postcapillary PH in the course of left heart disease, and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). In addition, the different forms of PH may coexist with each other. Among patients with CTD, PAH occurs most commonly in those with systemic sclerosis, where it affects ap-proximately 8%-12% of patients. The prognosis in patients with untreated PAH is very poor. It is particularly important to identify the high-risk CTD-PAH population and to perform effi-cient and accurate diagnostics so that targeted therapy of the pulmonary arteries can be intro-duced. Echocardiography is used to screen for PH, but clinical and echocardiographic suspicion of PH always requires confirmation by right heart catheterization. Confirmation of PAH ena-bles the initiation of life-prolonging pharmacological treatment in this group of patients, which should be administered in referral centers. Drugs available for pharmacological management include endothelin receptor antagonists, phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, and prostacyclins.


Tatiana Mularek-Kubzdela, Michał Ciurzyński, Otylia Kowal Bielecka, Jarosław D Kasprzak, Grzegorz Kopeć, Katarzyna Mizia-Stec, Ewa Mroczek, Ewa Lewicka, Ilona Skoczylas, Marek Grabka, Michał Furdal, Michał Florczyk, Marek Brzosko, Bogdan Batko, Hanna Przepiera-Będzak, Włodzimierz Samborski, Eugeniusz J Kucharz. An expert opinion of the Polish Cardiac Society Working Group on Pulmonary Circulation and the Polish Society for Rheumatology on the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary hypertension in patients with connective tissue disease. Kardiologia polska. 2021;79(7-8):917-929

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PMID: 34227677

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