Cardiac Working Group

Projects

The goal of this working group is to develop a definition of systemic sclerosis associated heart involvement (SHI). This definition would be for use in observational and clinical trials.

Progress to date:

  • Cardiologists with an interest in SHI from Europe, Canada and Australia have been recruited to the working group to provide expert input into the development of a definition of SHI, in addition to the participating rheumatologists.Cardiologists with an interest in SHI from Europe, Canada and Australia have been recruited to the working group to provide expert input into the development of a definition of SHI, in addition to the participating rheumatologists.
  • A scoping literature review has been performed to summarize the definitions of SHI previously published in the literature (see Appendix 1 for manuscript, accepted for publication in Semin Arthritis Rheum)
  • Both rheumatology and cardiology members of the working group have been surveyed as to their opinion regarding the scope of cardiac disease that could be considered for inclusion in a definition of SHI as well as the validity of various methods for detecting heart involvement.
  • The results of this survey will be discussed at the AGM in Chicago (2018).

Next steps:

  • It was acknowledged at the last working group meeting (2017) that there are significant gaps in the literature regarding SHI, particularly in the understanding of sub-clinical heart disease and the natural history of heart involvement. A priority for the working group is to develop a research agenda to address these knowledge gaps, in particular gaining a greater understanding of the role of newer tests such as tissue Doppler echocardiography parameters and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis and follow-up of patients with SHI.
  • In addition to developing a definition of SHI, it has been identified that developing a method of measuring SHI severity is an important goal of the Cardiac Working Group.

Contact information:

Cardiac Working Group Co-Chairs

Prof Murray Baron (Canada) mbaron@jgh.mcgill.ca
A/Prof Mandy Nikpour (Australia) m.nikpour@unimelb.edu.au
Dr Alessandra Vacca (Italy) ales.vacca@tiscali.it

Cardiac Working Group PhD Fellow

Dr Laura Ross (Australia) laurajross09@gmail.com

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