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eISSN: 1643-3750

Advanced systemic sclerosis complicated by pulmonary hypertension and complete atrioventricular block: A case report

Michał Ciurzynski, Piotr Bienias, Agnieszka Szewczyk, Barbara Lichodziejewska, Maria Błaszczyk, Danuta Liszewska-Pfejfer, Piotr Pruszczyk

Med Sci Monit 2007; 13(10): CS124-127

ID: 502413

Available online: 2007-10-01

Published: 2007-10-01

Background:    Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a connective tissue disorder of unknown etiology characterized by fibrosis of the skin and visceral organs, in which the heart is frequently (40–70% of patients) and severely involved. Pulmonary hypertension affects 10–15% of patients with SSc and is one of the most important complications adversely influencing their survival.
Case Report:    The case report presents a 59-year-old male patient with advanced systemic sclerosis whose initial examination revealed pulmonary hypertension, rhythm and atrioventricular conduction disturbances, and elevated level of NT-proBNP. After six months the patient deteriorated; an increase in NT-proBNP level and progression of pulmonary hypertension were observed.
Conclusions:    The described case is followed by a discussion of cardiovascular involvement in systemic sclerosis and emphasizes that heart involvement in SSc may have very serious clinical implications.

Keywords: Hypertension, Pulmonary - complications, Heart Block - complications, Scleroderma, Localized - complications, Scleroderma, Systemic - complications