Lung Disease Inadequately Assessed by FVC in PH-Scleroderma Patients

Author: Maureen Newman
Date Published: July-2014
Source: PHNews

Patients with pulmonary hypertension secondary to scleroderma (also known as systemic sclerosis) may not be properly assessed for interstitial lung disease through forced vital capacity (FVC) alone, according to Dr. Elizabeth Volkmann, of the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Volkmann, a rheumatologist, spoke at the annual European Congress of Rheumatology held June 11-14 in Paris, France. Instead, “A structural, physiologic, and patient-oriented composite outcome may be a more comprehensive measure of treatment response,” said Dr. Volkmann, as reported by Skin and Allergy News. Her findings came from an 83-patient trial related to scleroderma treatment. During her study, she found the Transition Dyspnea Index (TDI), the scleroderma modified Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI), and quantitative, serial assessment of high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) images of patient lungs to be most robust in assessing interstitial lung disease in systemic sclerosis patients.