Multimodality imaging and the emerging role of cardiac magnetic resonance in autoimmune myocarditis

Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, Athens, Greece.
Autoimmunity reviews (Impact Factor: 6.37). 05/2012; 12(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.autrev.2012.05.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Autoimmune responses and inflammation are involved in the excess cardiovascular risk observed in patients with systemic inflammatory diseases. Autoimmune myocarditis is a presentation of an inflammatory reaction of the heart during the course of autoimmune disorders, with most cases seen in systemic lupus erythematosus. Early diagnosis is of great significance because of the likelihood of progression to severe and potentially fatal complications such as arrhythmias, heart block, and heart failure. The clinical presentation of the disease is silent leading to delayed diagnosis when dilated cardiomyopathy or heart failure has already advanced. Therefore, a major issue is whether the diagnosis of myocarditis will continue to require invasive procedures such as endomyocardial biopsy or can be achieved with non-invasive methods. There is increasing evidence that noninvasive cardiac imaging, including tissue Doppler echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR), is able to detect subclinical cases and aid in the initiation of specific treatment when it is more likely to be effective. CMR in particular, has emerged as an important technique in the evaluation of myocarditis using three types of images: T2-weighted (T2-W), early T1-weighted (EGE) images taken after 1min, and delayed enhanced images (LGE) taken 15min after the injection of contrast agent. If 2/3 of the imaging sequences are positive, myocardial inflammation can be predicted or ruled out with a diagnostic accuracy of 78%. As our understanding of disease mechanisms improves, multimodality imaging may aid in the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for this potentially devastating complication of systemic inflammation, but further studies are needed to formally evaluate this.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Technological advances have enabled the rapid development of cardiovascular imaging techniques. Cardiac computed tomography (CT) and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have become diagnostic and prognostic tools for the management of patients in routine clinical practice. This review gives the main indications and describes the performance of both techniques.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: CMR, a non-invasive, non-radiating technique can detect myocardial oedema and fibrosis. CMR imaging, using T2-weighted and T1-weighted gadolinium enhanced images, has been successfully used in Cardiology to detect myocarditis, myocardial infarction and various cardiomyopathies. Transmitting this experience from Cardiology into Rheumatology may be of important value because: (a) heart involvement with atypical clinical presentation is common in autoimmune connective tissue diseases (CTDs). (b) CMR can reliably and reproducibly detect early myocardial tissue changes. (c) CMR can identify disease acuity and detect various patterns of heart involvement in CTDs, including myocarditis, myocardial infarction and diffuse vasculitis. (d) CMR can assess heart lesion severity and aid therapeutic decisions in CTDs. The CMR experience, transferred from Cardiology into Rheumatology, may facilitate early and accurate diagnosis of heart involvement in these diseases and potentially targeted heart treatment.
    Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism 01/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.semarthrit.2014.01.005 · 4.72 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To assess left ventricular (LV) diastolic function in patients with dermatomyositis (DM) without clinically evident cardiovascular (CV) disease and to estimate whether there is an association between the duration of DM and LV diastolic dysfunction (LVDD). The study included 51 patients with DM (43 women and 8 men) who had no clinically evident CV disease and 51 age-matched and sex-matched healthy controls. Echocardiographic and Doppler studies were conducted in all patients and controls. Early diastolic flow velocity/mitral annular early diastolic velocity (E/Em) was considered a marker for diastolic dysfunction. E/Em was elevated in 39 patients (76.5%) versus 27 controls (52.9%; p < 0.05). There were significant differences between patients versus control group in late diastolic flow velocity (A), E/A ratio, Em, Em/Am (mitral annular late diastolic velocity) ratio, E/Em ratio, and deceleration time (DT; p < 0.05). There was a weak correlation with disease duration between A (r = 0.373, p = 0.007), E/A ratio (r = -0.467, p = 0.001), Em (r = -0.474, p < 0.001), Em/Am ratio (r = -0.476, p < 0.001), E/Em ratio (r = 0.320, p = 0.022), and DT (r = 0.474, p < 0.001). Disease duration was associated with E/Em after controlling for age, sex, and other factors (p < 0.05). Our study confirms a high frequency of LVDD in DM patients without evident CV disease. The association between transmitral flow alteration and disease duration may suggest a subclinical myocardial involvement with disease progression.
    The Journal of Rheumatology 01/2014; 41(3). DOI:10.3899/jrheum.130346 · 3.17 Impact Factor