Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a generalized connective tissue disorder, and SSc patients are at risk of developing pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The aims of this study are to evaluate the right ventricular regional systolic function using two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography (2D STE) and to determine the predictive ability of peak longitudinal systolic strain (PLSS) at the RV lateral wall for PAH in SSc patients. 80 SSc patients (mean age 51 +/- 12 years) were included in the study. Echocardiography and 2D STE were performed at baseline and after 12 months. RHC was performed only in SSc patients with clinical indications. PLSS at the apical segment of the RV free wall was significantly impaired in PAH patients compared with non-PH patients (-14.6 +/- 5.9 vs. - 22.2 +/- 7.5%, p = 0.034). PLSS at the basal, mid, and apical segments of the RV free wall was lower in both groups at follow-up compared to baseline, but the drop in strain values was statistically significant only in the non-PH group (p < 0.05). Right atrial area (OR 1.758; p = 0.023), peak tricuspid regurgitation velocity (OR 24.23; p = 0.011) and PLSS at the apical segment of the RV lateral wall (OR 2.47; p = 0.005) were independent predictors of PAH. A cut-off value of - 14.48% PLSS at the apical segment of the RV lateral wall resulted in 100% specificity for predicting PAH in SSc patients. RV pressure overload affects RV systolic function as manifested by impaired RV longitudinal deformation. Evaluating RV regional systolic function with 2D STE could be useful as an additional echocardiographic parameter for screening PAH in SSc patients.