Endothelial Biomarkers of Systemic Sclerosis-associated Pulmonary Hypertension

Study Purpose

Systemic sclerosis (SSc, AKA scleroderma) is an autoimmune condition characterized by endothelial damage and progressive fibrosis of the skin and internal organs. One of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in patients with SSc is pulmonary hypertension (PH), which is estimated to occur in up to 31% of high risk SSc patients. Early detection of patients with SSc-PH may lead to improved outcomes and although there have been concerted efforts to accurately screen for SSc-PH, these patients continue to present with advanced disease and suffer from poor survival. Therefore, better methods to screen for patients with PH and, perhaps more importantly, to screen for those at risk for PH development are desperately needed. Since PH and SSc are disorders originating from the endothelium, biomarkers that reflect endothelial damage are very promising tools to identify early disease. Such potential biomarkers include endothelial microparticles, asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), pentraxin-3, and soluble endoglin. No previous study has used a combination of these biomarkers to detect the presence of PH in patients with SSc, or studied the novel concept of exercise-induced changes in biomarker levels. The investigators will collect the above listed endothelial biomarkers before and after exercise, and combine these levels with exercise echocardiogram findings, and routine clinical information to derive a composite detection score for the early identification of systemic sclerosis-associated PH.

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Eligible Ages 18 Years and Over
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • - 1.
Age >18 years 2. Meet American College of Rheumatology criteria for SSc.

Exclusion Criteria:

1. Chronic kidney disease (estimated creatinine clearance <50mL/min) 2. Uncontrolled hypertension (diastolic blood pressure>120mmHg) 3. Acute coronary syndrome within the past 6 months. 4. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 5. Diabetes mellitus. 6. Hemolytic anemia. 7. Active tobacco abuse

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


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Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Matthew R Lammi, MD, MSCR
Principal Investigator Affiliation LSU Health Sciences Center
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Overall Status Recruiting
Countries United States

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Scleroderma, Pulmonary Hypertension
Arms & Interventions


: Systemic sclerosis patients w/ PH

Pulmonary hypertension will be defined as a mean pulmonary artery pressure≥25mmHg on right heart catheterization

: Systemic sclerosis patients w/o PH

Pulmonary hypertension will be excluded based on all of the following echocardiogram features: estimated systolic pulmonary artery pressure<35mmHg and absence of right atrial or right ventricular (RV) enlargement and lack of qualitative RV dysfunction. If a subject has any of these echo features, they will be referred for right heart catheterization (RHC) and included in the appropriate group based on their RHC results.


Other: - No intervention

No intervention

Contact a Trial Team

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University Medical Center-New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana




University Medical Center-New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana, 70112

Site Contact

Matthew R Lammi, MD, MSCR



For more information, please contact PHA at Research@PHAssociation.org and refer to the terms of service below.

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