To assess the survival and prognostic factors in patients with newly diagnosed incident systemic sclerosis (SSc)-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in the modern management era.
Prospectively enrolled SSc patients in the French PAH Network between January 2006 and November 2009, with newly diagnosed PAH and no interstitial lung disease, were analysed (85 patients, mean age 64.9±12.2 years). Median follow-up after PAH diagnosis was 2.32 years.
A majority of patients were in NYHA functional class III-IV (79%). Overall survival was 90% (95% CI 81% to 95%), 78% (95% CI 67% to 86%) and 56% (95% CI 42% to 68%) at 1, 2 and 3 years from PAH diagnosis, respectively. Age (HR: 1.05, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.09, p=0.012) and cardiac index (HR: 0.49, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.89, p=0.019) were significant predictors in the univariate analysis. We also observed strong trends for gender, SSc subtypes, New York Heart Association functional class, pulmonary vascular resistance and capacitance to be significant predictors in the univariate analysis. Conversely, six-min walk distance, mean pulmonary arterial and right atrial pressures were not significant predictors. In the multivariate model, gender was the only independent factor associated with survival (HR: 4.76, 95% CI 1.35 to 16.66, p=0.015 for male gender).
Incident SSc-associated PAH remains a devastating disease even in the modern management era. Age, male gender and cardiac index were the main prognosis factors in this cohort of patients. Early detection of less severe patients should be a priority.
Outcomes research; Systemic Sclerosis; Treatment