New York, June 28, 2000 (Praxis Press) Interstitial lung disease is a major cause of death in patients with systemic sclerosis (scleroderma). Studies have not precisely evaluated the association between alveolitis and lung fibrosis, and the subsequent deterioration of pulmonary function. A recent retrospective cohort study compared the outcomes of three patient groups with scleroderma lung disease: patients without alveolitis, and alveolitis patients with and without cyclophosphamide treatment and determined that that scleroderma patients with alveolitis have a higher rate of lung deterioration and mortality than scleroderma patients without alveolitis (see paper). The study further determined that alveolitis patients following a cyclophosphamide treatment had improved lung function outcomes and longer survival rates. This study suggests that cyclophosphamide is an effective intervention in alveolitis patients, although the benefits of this medication still have to be confirmed by a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. Consider prescribing cyclophosphamide to scleroderma alveolitis...

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