Impaired energetics and normal myocardial lipids in rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus: a phosphorous and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy and cardiovascular magnetic resonance study

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) commonly involve the cardiovascular system and are associated with significant morbidity and mortality, driven by cardiovascular inflammation, microvascular and diastolic dysfunction and fibrosis. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) can assess non-invasively cardiac function, strain, ischaemia, altered vascular function, perfusion, inflammation and fibrosis; magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) provides further insights into the status of myocardial energetics and lipidosis. To date, there have been no cardiovascular MRS studies in RA and SLE patients. We hypothesised that RA and SLE would be associated with impaired myocardial energetics and lipidosis.