Subclinical Systemic Sclerosis Primary Heart Involvement by Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Shows No Significant Interval Change

Raluca B. Dumitru, Lesley Anne Bissell, Bara Erhayiem, Graham Fent, Ananth Kidambi, Giuseppina Abignano, John P. Greenwood, John Biglands, Francesco Del Galdo, Sven Plein, Maya H. Buch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Subclinical systemic sclerosis (SSc) primary heart involvement is commonly described. Whether these findings progress over time is not clear. The study aimed to investigate cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) interval change of subclinical SSc primary heart involvement. Methods: Patients with SSc with no cardiovascular disease underwent two CMR scans that included T1 mapping and quantitative stress perfusion. The CMR change (mean difference) and association between CMR measures and clinical phenotype were assessed. The study had a prospective design. Results: Thirty-one patients with SSc participated, with a median (interquartile range) follow-up of 33 (17-37) months (10 [32%] in the diffuse subset, 16 [52%] with interstitial lung disease [ILD], and 11 [29%] who were Scl-70+). Four of thirty-one patients had focal late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) at visit 1; one of four had an increase in LGE scar mass between visits. Two patients showed new focal LGE at visit 2. No change in other CMR indices was noted. The three patients with SSc with increased or new LGE at visit 2 had diffuse cutaneous SSc with ILD, and two were Scl-70+. A reduction in forced vital capacity and total lung capacity was associated with a reduction in left ventricular ejection fraction (ρ = 0.413, P = 0.021; ρ = 0.335, P = 0.07) and myocardial perfusion reserve (MPR) (ρ = 0.543, P = 0.007; ρ = 0.627, P = 0.002). An increase in the N-terminal pro–brain natriuretic peptide level was associated with a reduction in MPR (ρ = −0.448, P = 0.042). Patients on disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) had an increase in native T1 (mean [SD] 1208 [65] vs. 1265 [56] milliseconds, P = 0.008). No other clinically meaningful CMR change in patients receiving DMARDs or vasodilators was noted. Conclusion: Serial CMR detects interval subclinical SSc primary heart involvement progression; however, this study suggests abnormalities remain largely stable with follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-80
Number of pages10
JournalACR Open Rheumatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2023


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