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Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging: clinical implications in the evaluation of connective tissue diseases

Authors Mavrogeni S, Markousis-Mavrogenis G, Koutsogeorgopoulou L, Kolovou G

Received 24 January 2017

Accepted for publication 22 March 2017

Published 11 May 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 55—61

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JIR.S115508

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Ning Quan


Sophie Mavrogeni,1 George Markousis-Mavrogenis,1 Loukia Koutsogeorgopoulou,2 Genovefa Kolovou1

1Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, Athens, Greece; 2Department of Pathophysiology, Laikon Hospital, Athens, Greece

Abstract: Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging is a recently developed noninvasive, nonradiating, operator-independent technique that has been successfully used for the evaluation of congenital heart disease, valvular and pericardial diseases, iron overload, cardiomyopathies, great and coronary vessel diseases, cardiac inflammation, stress–rest myocardial perfusion, and fibrosis. Rheumatoid arthritis and other spondyloarthropathies, systemic lupus erythematosus, inflammatory myopathies, mixed connective tissue diseases (CTDs), systemic sclerosis, vasculitis, and sarcoidosis are among CTDs with serious cardiovascular involvement; this is due to multiple causative factors such as myopericarditis, micro/macrovascular disease, coronary artery disease, myocardial fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, and finally heart failure. The complicated pathophysiology and the high cardiovascular morbidity and mortality of CTDs demand a versatile, noninvasive, nonradiative diagnostic tool for early cardiovascular diagnosis, risk stratification, and treatment follow-up. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging can detect early silent cardiovascular lesions, assess disease acuteness, and reliably evaluate the effect of both cardiac and rheumatic medication in the cardiovascular system, due to its capability to perform tissue characterization and its high spatial resolution. However, until now, high cost; lack of interaction between cardiologists, radiologists, and rheumatologists; lack of availability; and lack of experts in the field have limited its wider adoption in the clinical practice.

Keywords: connective tissue diseases, cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging

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