Acute hospitalization in a cohort of patients with systemic sclerosis: a 10-year retrospective cohort study

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This study aimed at analysing the causes and predictors of acute hospitalization and mortality in a cohort of SSc. Retrospective analysis of all acute hospital admissions of SSc patients fulfilling the 2013 EULAR/ACR Classification Criteria, from a single-centre cohort of 95 patients, between 2010 and 2020. The total number of SSc patients registered in our hospital, in this period, was 123. Clinical data were collected from medical files of our institution and from the National Healthcare Registry platform. 53 patients needed acute hospitalization, in a total of 164 admissions. The most frequent causes for admission were: infectious diseases [27%; 70% due to pneumoniae, of which 74% had SSc-associated interstitial lung disease (ILD)], cardiac disease (16.5%), peripheral vascular disease [12.8%; all due to digital ulcers], pulmonary hypertension (PH) (9.8%) and ILD (9.1%). There was an increase in admissions due to cardiac disease over the 10 years of follow-up, and a decrease of ILD over the last 5 years. Fourteen patients died (in-hospital mortality of 9%) mainly due to pneumoniae (36%), heart failure (21%), neoplastic diseases (21%), PH (14%) and ILD (7%). From all the admissions due to infection 70.5% were under immunosuppression at the time of the hospitalization. The frequency of acute admissions superior to 1 was associated with infection (OR 2.29, 95%CI 1.11–4.71). There were several factors associated with both acute admissions and mortality, including: gender, race, digital ulcers, cardiac dysfunction, ILD and PH. Infection was the principal cause of acute hospitalization and mortality, mainly due to pneumoniae. Although a high percentage of those had ILD, it has been decreasing in the last years in our cohort, as a direct cause of hospital admission and mortality, possibly reflecting the advances in its management.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRheumatology International
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • Hospitals
  • Infections
  • Inpatients
  • Outcome assessment
  • Systemic scleroderma


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