Arrhythmias and Conduction Disturbances in Patients with Systemic Sclerosis—A Systematic Literature Review

Cristina Andreea Vrancianu, Ana Maria Gheorghiu, Dragos Emanuel Popa, Jeffrey Shi Kai Chan, Danish Iltaf Satti, Yan Hiu Athena Lee, Jeremy Man Ho Hui, Gary Tse, Ioan Ancuta, Ana Ciobanu, Mihai Bojinca

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disease characterized by skin and internal organ fibrosis and microvascular impairment, which can affect major organs, including the heart. Arrhythmias are responsible for approximately 6% of deaths in patients with SSc, and mainly occur due to myocardial fibrosis, which causes electrical inhomogeneity. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of arrhythmias and conduction disturbances in SSc cohorts, and to identify the characteristics and risk factors associated with the occurrence of dysrhythmias in patients with SSc. A systematic literature review using PubMed, Embase, Web of Science and Scopus databases was performed. Full-text articles in English with arrhythmias as the main topic published until 21 April 2022 were included. Most prevalent arrhythmias were premature supraventricular and ventricular contractions, while the most frequent conduction disturbance was represented by right bundle branch block (RBBB). Elevated concentrations of N-terminal prohormones of brain natriuretic peptides (NT-pro BNP) were associated with numerous types of atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, and with the occurrence of RBBB. A lower value of the turbulence slope (TS) emerged as an independent predictor for ventricular arrhythmias. In conclusion, dysrhythmias are frequent in SSc cohorts. Paraclinical and laboratory parameters are useful instruments that could lead to early diagnosis in the course of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12963
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • arrhythmias
  • conduction disturbances
  • systemic sclerosis


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