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Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus
  1. S G O’Neill1,
  2. S Woldman2,
  3. F Bailliard3,
  4. W Norman3,
  5. J McEwan2,
  6. D A Isenberg1,
  7. A M Taylor3,
  8. A Rahman1
  1. 1
    Centre for Rheumatology Research, Department of Medicine UCL, London, UK
  2. 2
    The Heart Hospital, University College London Hospital, London, UK
  3. 3
    The Centre for Cardiovascular MR, Cardiothoracic Unit, UCL Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr A Rahman, Centre for Rheumatology Research, Division of Medicine UCL, The Windeyer Building, 46 Cleveland Street, London W1T 4JF, UK; anisur.rahman{at}


Objectives: To delineate the cardiac magnetic resonance (MR) appearances of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), in comparison with transthoracic echocardiographs.

Methods: Cardiac MR was performed on 22 patients with SLE—11 with previous CVD and 11 matched controls—using late gadolinium contrast enhancement (LGE) to identify areas of myocardial scarring; Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) was performed on the same day.

Results: Twenty female and two male patients participated. LGE was seen in 5/11 subjects in the CVD group (4/5 with previous myocardial infarction) and 1/11 in the control group. TTE detected myocardial abnormalities in 2/6 patients with LGE.

Conclusion: The cardiac MR appearance of CVD in these patients with SLE was suggestive of coronary disease, rather than cumulative inflammatory muscle damage. Cardiac MR detected more abnormalities than TTE. Further studies of cardiac MR in patients with SLE are warranted to investigate these preliminary findings.

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  • Funding SGO’N received funding from LUPUS UK. AMT received funding from the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) and the British Heart Foundation (BHF - grant no CI/05/010). This work was undertaken at UCLH/UCL which received a proportion of funding from the Department of Health’s NIHR Biomedical Research Centres funding scheme.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval The joint UCL/UCH Research Ethics Committee approved this study and all participants gave informed consent to take part.

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