Open Access

A patient‑centered approach to the burden of symptoms in patients with scleroderma treated with Bosentan: A prospective single‑center observational study

  • Authors:
    • Elena Rezus
    • Alexandra Maria Burlui
    • Bogdan Gafton
    • Teodora Alexa Stratulat
    • Gabriela Rusu Zota
    • Anca Cardoneanu
    • Ciprian Rezus
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: December 20, 2019     https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2019.8361
  • Pages: 1739-1746
  • Copyright: © Rezus et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Abstract

Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare and complex autoimmune disease associated with poor vital and functional outcomes. The functional hindrance in patients derives from various disease‑specific manifestations, including Raynaud's phenomenon and digital ulcers (DUs). Bosentan is an endothelin receptor antagonist capable of preventing the appearance of new DUs in patients with scleroderma. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of Bosentan on the severity of Raynaud's phenomenon, DU‑related symptoms and functional impairment during the first year of treatment. A prospective study that included adult patients with SSc admitted to the Rheumatology Department between January 2016 and January 2017 that were candidates for Bosentan therapy, was performed. All patients were asked to evaluate the burden of symptoms secondary to Raynaud's and DUs using a visual analogue scale (VAS), whereas functional hindrance was assessed via Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ‑DI). The outcomes were assessed at baseline and every 3 months during 1 year of therapy. Among the 41 patients included initially, 2 participants discontinued the treatment after 1 month due to adverse events (elevation of liver enzymes). The study cohort exhibited a significant improvement in HAQ‑DI, VAS‑R and VAS‑DU scores in response to Bosentan therapy over the 1‑year follow‑up period. Higher scores at baseline predicted a weaker treatment‑related improvement, with the risk of a poor outcome being increased by 220% for VAS‑R, 116% for VAS‑DU, whereas no increase was observed for HAQ‑DI. The post‑treatment improvement in VAS‑DU levels was associated with a better outcome for HAQ‑DI (R=0.44; P=0.005). This association was not identified for VAS‑R (R=0.24; P=0.137). Throughout the follow‑up period, patients with dyspnea presented with significantly higher HAQ‑DI scores compared with non‑dyspneic patients. Bosentan therapy may indirectly influence functionality and quality of life in patients with scleroderma by reducing the burden of Raynaud's and DU‑related symptoms. Nonetheless, patients with SSc with a decreased symptom burden at baseline exhibited improved outcomes.

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March 2020
Volume 19 Issue 3

Print ISSN: 1792-0981
Online ISSN:1792-1015

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APA
Rezus, E., Burlui, A.M., Gafton, B., Stratulat, T.A., Zota, G.R., Cardoneanu, A., & Rezus, C. (2020). A patient‑centered approach to the burden of symptoms in patients with scleroderma treated with Bosentan: A prospective single‑center observational study. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 19, 1739-1746. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2019.8361
MLA
Rezus, E., Burlui, A. M., Gafton, B., Stratulat, T. A., Zota, G. R., Cardoneanu, A., Rezus, C."A patient‑centered approach to the burden of symptoms in patients with scleroderma treated with Bosentan: A prospective single‑center observational study". Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine 19.3 (2020): 1739-1746.
Chicago
Rezus, E., Burlui, A. M., Gafton, B., Stratulat, T. A., Zota, G. R., Cardoneanu, A., Rezus, C."A patient‑centered approach to the burden of symptoms in patients with scleroderma treated with Bosentan: A prospective single‑center observational study". Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine 19, no. 3 (2020): 1739-1746. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2019.8361