Sadia Asif1, Asadullah Khan1, Muhammad Faiq1, Zia Ud Din1, Sarmad Zahoor2, Muhammad Haroon1

1Rheumatology, Fatima Memorial Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan
2Department of Internal Medicine, King Edward Medical University, Mayo Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan

Keywords: Interstitial lung disease, Raynaud phenomenon, scleroderma, systemic sclerosis


Objectives: This study aims to evaluate the clinical and serological characteristics of systemic sclerosis (SSc) in Pakistani population.

Patients and methods: This prospective, cross-sectional study included a total of 38 patients (6 males, 32 females; mean age: 34.5±1.5 years; range, 16 to 60 years) with SSc who were admitted to our rheumatology clinic between November 2019 and January 2020. We evaluated the clinical, serological, and radiological features of SSc patients.

Results: Thirty-four (89.5%) patients developed Raynaud phenomenon at the time of disease onset, while sclerodactyly was found in 34 (89.5%), digital ulcers in 25 (65.8%), and tendon friction rub in 12 (31.6%) patients. Interstitial lung disease was present in 30 (78.9%) patients with a higher prevalence in diffuse scleroderma (100%) than in limited scleroderma (70%) (p=0.01). Pulmonary hypertension was present in 18 patients with a significantly higher prevalence in diffuse disease (57.1%) than limited disease (11.8%) (p<0.01). Thirty (78.9%) patients had impaired pulmonary function tests. Fibromyalgia was present in seven (18.4%) patients, and depression was present in 10 (26.3%) patients. Antinuclear antibody (ANA) was positive in 30 (78.9%) patients. Anti-Scl-70 antibodies were present in 24 (63.2%) patients with a significant association with diffuse disease (85% vs. 35.3%, respectively; p<0.01). The anti-centromere antibodies (ACA) were present in 20 (52.6%) patients with a significantly higher rate in limited disease (94.2% vs. 19.0%, respectively; p<0.01).

Conclusion: Scleroderma has a female preponderance. Raynaud phenomenon is the most initial clinical feature followed by other manifestations of a variable course and disease severity.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.