Cyprus Journal of Medical Sciences
Original Article

Cardiopulmonary Functions and Aerobic Capacity in Patients with Systemic Sclerosis


Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Unit, Ministry of Health, Ankara Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey


Department of Rheumatology, Ankara University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey

Cyprus J Med Sci 2019; 4: 84-89
DOI: 10.5152/cjms.2019.818
Read: 273 Downloads: 156 Published: 29 August 2019


Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic inflammatory multisystem disorder characterized by microvascular damage and extensive fibrosis. Cardiopulmonary involvement is strongly associated with the severity of the disease itself and the mortality and morbidity of SSc. The aim of this study was to evaluate cardiopulmonary functions and aerobic capacity of SSc patients through cardiopulmonary exercise testing and compare them to healthy individuals.



A total of 27 patients (25 females, 2 males; mean age 43.96±13.01 years; mean body mass index 26.34±5.33 kg/m2) who were diagnosed with SSc according to the American Rheumatism Association criteria and a control group of 23 healthy age-matched individuals (18 females, 5 males; mean age 42.04±12.28 years; mean body mass index 26.89±3.99 kg/m2) were included in the study. All subjects underwent a treadmill cardiopulmonary exercise test. A computerized gas analysis system collected and analyzed expired gases during the exercise.



The mean peak oxygen consumptions were significantly decreased in the patient group (14.09±6.24 mL/kg/minute) as compared to the control group (19.65±5.97 mL/kg/minute) (p=0.002). In addition, the patient group had significantly lower peak minute ventilation (p=0.011), O2 pulse (p=0.003), and exercise time (p=0.027), while having higher VD/VT rest and VD/VT peak in comparison with the control group.



The results of this study showed that patients with SSc had a lower aerobic capacity as compared to healthy individuals. The cardiopulmonary exercise test is a useful tool to detect exercise intolerance and provide additional information on the mechanism of exercise limitation in SSc.


Cite this article as: Kesikburun B, Köseoğlu BF, Doğan A, Şahin A, Turgay M. Cardiopulmonary Functions and Aerobic Capacity in Patients with Systemic Sclerosis. Cyprus J Med Sci 2019; 4(2): 84-9.

ISSN2149-7893 EISSN 2536-507X