Theodoros Dimitroulas, Georgios Giannakoulas, Haralambos Karvounis, Loukas Settas and George D. Kitas Pages 213 - 219 ( 7 )
Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) is a complex multisystem disease characterized by vascular involvement and generalized disturbance of the microcirculation. Pulmonary vascular disease leads to systemic sclerosis-related pulmonary arterial hypertension (SScPAH). SScPAH is a devastating complication with a considerable impact on prognosis, being a common cause of disease-related death. The ability to detect this process at an early stage by simple means would be of great value, since effective treatment is now available. There is increasing evidence that several biomarkers increase in proportion to the extent of right ventricular dysfunction and correlate with hemodynamic, echocardiographic and functional measurements of pulmonary vascular disease. Biomarkers may be used to identify high-risk patients for more invasive procedures, provide prognostic information, and guide vasodilator therapy. In this article, we review potential biomarkers in SScPAH as tools for screening, diagnostic evaluation, risk stratification, prediction of disease severity and indicators of treatment efficacy.
Systemic sclerosis, pulmonary hypertension, natriuretic peptides, asymmetric dimethylarginine, biomarkers, nitric oxide
Department of Rheumatology, Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley Group of Hospitals, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 2HQ, UK.