Systemic sclerosis with renal crisis and pulmonary hypertension: a report of eleven cases.Arthritis Rheum. 2001 Jul; 44(7):1663-6.AR
To describe a series of systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients with the unusual combination of scleroderma renal crisis (SRC) and pulmonary hypertension (PHT) without interstitial lung disease.
The medical records of 2,459 SSc patients in the University of Pittsburgh Scleroderma Databank first evaluated between 1972 and 1999 were reviewed.
Eleven patients (0.45%) had both SRC and PHT. All had been evaluated since 1979, when angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor therapy for SRC became available. Seven had SSc with limited cutaneous involvement, and 4 had SSc with diffuse cutaneous involvement. SRC occurred first in all patients except 1, in whom the onsets of SRC and PHT were simultaneous. SRC preceded PHT by a mean of 4.3 years. Four patients had anti-Th/To antibody, 5 had anti-RNA polymerase III antibody, 2 had anti-U3 RNP antibody, and none had anticentromere or antitopoisomerase I antibody. Ten of the 11 patients died, 8 from PHT. Ten patients were being treated with ACE inhibitor drugs when PHT developed.
In SSc, SRC and PHT are not mutually exclusive complications. SSc patients surviving SRC who have serum antibodies to Th/To, RNA polymerase III, or U3 RNP are at increased risk to develop PHT. ACE inhibitor therapy did not prevent the development of PHT.