Pulmonary hypertension in connective tissue diseases: epidemiology, pathogenesis, and treatment.

Cansu D., Korkmaz C.

Clinical rheumatology, vol.42, no.10, pp.2601-2610, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 42 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10067-022-06446-y
  • Journal Name: Clinical rheumatology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.2601-2610
  • Keywords: Connective tissue disease, Pulmonary hypertension, Rheumatic disease, Rheumatology, ARTERIAL-HYPERTENSION, SYSTEMIC-SCLEROSIS, RHEUMATIC-DISEASES, SURVIVAL, PREVALENCE, COHORT
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a clinical condition characterized by increased pulmonary arterial pressure arising from a heterogeneous range of diseases that has a deteriorating effect on the quality of life and may cause early mortality if left untreated. Connective tissue disorders (CTD)-associated PH is the second most common cause of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), after the idiopathic form, categorized as group I. Systemic scleroderma (SSc) accounts for 75% of CTD-associated PH cases. Although SSc ranks first place for CTD-associated PH, SSc is followed by systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD), having a lesser frequency of PH occurrence, while it occurs as a rare complication in cases with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and inflammatory myositis. PH may also occur during non-SSc CTDs and even other rheumatic diseases, including Behcet's disease and adult-onset Still's disease, albeit to a lesser extent. The prognosis of CTD-associated PH is worse than the other forms of PH. Although, as in idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH), the mechanism of CTD-related PH is associated with an increase in vasoconstrictors like endothelin-1 and a decrease in vasodilators like prostacyclin and nitric oxide production, inflammation, and autoimmune mechanisms also play a role in the development and progression of PH. This may lead to the involvement of more than one mechanism in CTD-associated PH. Knowing which mechanism is dominant is very important in determining the treatment option. This review will primarily focus on the epidemiology, risk factors, and prognosis of PH that develops during rheumatic diseases; the pathogenesis and treatment will be briefly mentioned in light of the newly published guidelines.