To describe the history of SSc-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (SSc-PAH) in patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class (FC) II dyspnoea at diagnosis.
Data at the time of diagnosis were collected and analysed retrospectively for 77 consecutive patients with SSc-PAH.
Twelve patients (15.6%) presented with PAH and NYHA FC II dyspnoea. After a mean follow-up of 44 months, only 4 out of the 12 PAH patients remained stable in FC II, while 8 showed worsening to FC III or IV. Three patients died during the observation period; two from PAH and one from rectal cancer. Survival in patients in FC II at diagnosis was 100, 91 and 80% at 1, 2 and 3 years, respectively.
A majority of patients with mildly symptomatic SSc-PAH in NYHA FC II at diagnosis have a severe disease with poor prognosis.