Improved Survival for Patients with Systemic Sclerosis-associated Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: The Johns Hopkins Registry

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Rationale: To date, it remains unclear whether recent changes in the management of patients with systemic sclerosis-associated pulmonary hypertension (SSc-PH) have improved survival. Objectives: To describe a cohort of patients with SSc-PH and compare their characteristics and survival between the last two decades. Methods: Patients with SSc-PH prospectively enrolled in the Johns Hopkins Pulmonary Hypertension Center Registry were grouped into two cohorts based on the date of diagnostic right heart catheterization: cohort A included patients whose disease was diagnosed between 1999 and 2010, and cohort B included those whose disease was diagnosed between 2010 and 2021. Patients' characteristics were compared between the two cohorts. Measurements and Main Results: Of 504 patients with SSc-PH distributed almost equally between the two cohorts, 308 (61%) had World Symposium on Pulmonary Hypertension group 1, 43 (9%) had group 2, and 151 (30%) had group 3 disease. Patients with group 1 disease in cohort B had significantly better clinical and hemodynamic characteristics at diagnosis, were more likely to receive upfront combination pulmonary arterial hypertension therapy, and had a nearly 4-year increase in median transplant-free survival in univariable analysis than those in cohort A (P < 0.01). Improved transplant-free survival was still observed after adjusting for patients' baseline characteristics. In contrast, for group 2 or 3 patients with SSc-PH, there were no differences in baseline clinical, hemodynamic, or survival characteristics between the two cohorts. Conclusions: This is the largest single-center study that compares clinical characteristics of patients with SSc-PH between the last two decades. Transplant-free survival has improved significantly for those with group 1 disease over the last decade, possibly secondary to earlier detection and better therapeutic management. Conversely, those with group 2 or 3 disease continue to have dismal prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-322
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023


  • pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • systemic sclerosis
  • transplant-free survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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