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Scleroderma-Associated Pulmonary Hypertension

Scleroderma is an umbrella term to describe thickening (sclero) of the skin (derma). This can cause pulmonary hypertension

Characteristics of this group of diseases include swelling, breakdown, and scarring of the:

  • Skin
  • Blood vessels
  • Joints. tendons, and muscles
  • Certain internal organs — most commonly the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, blood vessels, heart, and kidneys

Scleroderma Risks

People with scleroderma are at increased risk for developing several types of pulmonary hypertension (PH), including:

People diagnosed with and treated for pulmonary hypertension early in the disease process have improved outcomes and a broader range of treatment options.

Diagnosing Scleroderma-Associated PH

At the UPMC Comprehensive Pulmonary Hypertension Program, we:

  • Provide a comprehensive evaluation and care for scleroderma-associated pulmonary hypertension.
  • Strive to complete all testing within one to two weeks of the initial visit.
  • Can often accommodate a clinic visit with remaining tests and right heart catheterization within the same day or within a two-day period for patients who are more symptomatic or traveling from a distance.
  • Work with the team at the UPMC Scleroderma Center and meet regularly with pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary fibrosis specialists to coordinate patient care.
  • Have a team of blood vessel, heart, kidney, and intestinal specialists who are familiar with scleroderma.
  • Offer a full range of medical and surgical therapies, in partnership with one of the largest and most distinguished heart and lung transplantation centers in the world.

If you wish to see one of these other specialists — and your medical insurance carrier has approved it — mention this to our patient coordinator when you visit our clinic.

Make an Appointment for Scleroderma and PH Care Today

To make an appointment with the Scleroderma Center and the Comprehensive Pulmonary Hypertension Program, call 412-647-6700, or email peatjl@upmc.edu.

Our coordinator can assist with answering questions about insurance, travel, and overnight accommodations.

Learn More About Scleroderma and Pulmonary Hypertension

From our Health Library: