Clinical course of Japanese patients with early systemic sclerosis: A multicenter, prospective, observational study

Akira Utsunomiya, Minoru Hasegawa, Noritaka Oyama, Yoshihide Asano, Hirahito Endo, Manabu Fujimoto, Daisuke Goto, Osamu Ishikawa, Yasushi Kawaguchi, Masataka Kuwana, Fumihide Ogawa, Hiroki Takahashi, Sumiaki Tanaka, Shinichi Sato, Kazuhiko Takehara, Hironobu Ihn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To investigate the clinical course of Japanese patients with early diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSSc) and early SSc with interstitial lung disease (ILD). Methods: We prospectively analyzed the clinical features of 207 Japanese patients with early dcSSc (n = 150) and limited cutaneous SSc (lcSSc) with ILD (n = 57) in 10 medical centers every year for 7 consecutive years. Results: Mean modified Rodnan total skin thickness score (mRSS) was 18.3 and 67.4% of the cohort had ILD. Most patients started immunosuppressive therapy and vasodilators during 7 years (83.4% and 87.9%, respectively). Mean value of mRSS of total patients was significantly reduced from the initial registration after the first year. However, other parameters for physical function associated with skin sclerosis including fist closure, hand extension, and oral aperture were not so ameliorated during the study period. Health Assessment Questionnaire-disability index and serum KL-6 levels were constant throughout the course. Percent vital capacity and the presence of ILD, clinically suspected pulmonary arterial hypertension, and digital ulcers were gradually exacerbated during the period. Conclusion: In Japanese early dcSSc patients and SSc patients with ILD, mRSS was continuously reduced during 7 years of follow-up, but there was little improvement of physical disability and organ involvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-170
Number of pages9
JournalModern Rheumatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Clinical course
  • interstitial lung disease
  • skin sclerosis
  • systemic sclerosis
  • treatment outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical course of Japanese patients with early systemic sclerosis: A multicenter, prospective, observational study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this