Myocardial Inflammation in Autoimmune Diseases: Investigation by Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance and Endomyocardial Biopsy

Author(s): Sophie Mavrogeni, Kostas Spargias, Vyron Markussis, Genovefa Kolovou, Eftichia Demerouti, Evangelia Papadopoulou, George Stavridis, Loukas Kaklamanis, Marouso Douskou, Pantelis Constantoulakis, Dennis V. Cokkinos.

Journal Name: Inflammation & Allergy - Drug Targets (Discontinued)

Volume 8 , Issue 5 , 2009

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Abstract:

Introduction: Myocardial inflammation often coexists with different types of autoimmune diseases. Our aim was to investigate the presence of myocarditis in these patients by Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (CMR) and endomyocardial biopsy. Patients-Methods: Twenty patients, aged 20-55 yrs with autoimmune diseases and cardiac symptoms (3 with Takayasus arteritis, 3 with systemic lupus erythematosus, 5 with rheumatoid arthritis, 7 with autoimmune thyroid disease and 2 with systemic sclerosis) and 20 patients with the same autoimmune diseases but without cardiac symptoms (controls) were studied. The presence of myocarditis and LV function were evaluated by CMR. Myocarditis was documented using T2- weighted (T2-W), T1-weighted (T1-W) before and after contrast media injection and late enhanced images. In 10 patients (positive for myocarditis by CMR with either low LVEF or recent increase in troponin), endomyocardial biopsy was also performed. Myocardial specimens were evaluated by histology and polymerase chain reaction techniques (PCR). Results: Myocarditis was identified in 18/20 patients by CMR. In the T2-W images the signal ratio of myocardium to skeletal muscle was 1.89±0.25 (control values 1.57±0.13, p < 0.05). From the T1-W images the relative myocardial enhancement was 11.31±11.18 (control values 3.09±0.05, p < 0.05). Epicardial late gadolinium enhanced areas were identified in 18/20. In myocardial specimens, histology revealed inflammation in 5/10 (50%) and PCR documented viral or microbial genomes in 8/10 (80%). Positive histology and PCR were in agreement with 50% and 80% of positive CMR examinations, respectively. Herpes virus was identified in 3/10, Adeno in 1/10, Coxsackie B6 in 1/10, echo in 1/10, Parvo-B19 in 3/10, CMV in 1/10 and Chlamydia trachomatis in 8/10. Conclusions: Myocardial inflammation is a common finding in patients with autoimmune diseases and cardiac symptoms. The diagnosis can be confirmed by CMR, which is a noninvasive and reliable tool for the investigation of these patients.

Keywords: Myocarditis, virus, Chlamydia, biopsy, polymerase chain reaction, autoimmune disease

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Article Details

VOLUME: 8
ISSUE: 5
Year: 2009
Page: [390 - 397]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/1871528110908050390
Price: $58

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