Inflammatory Arthritis Research
Research at the Inflammatory Arthritis Center is focused on understanding the effects of chronic rheumatoid inflammation on the extra-articular clinical phenotype of RA, as manifested by accelerated atherosclerosis and myocardial dysfunction. We have taken a combined epidemiological/ translational approach to address these questions, by establishing and following two RA cohorts over a prolonged period of time, and by combining sensitive imaging techniques with biomarker studies and clinical outcome assessments. In these studies we have comprehensively phenotyped the vascular beds (coronary, carotid, peripheral) of RA patients compared to controls, and identified risk factors for atherosclerosis and its progression. Current work focuses on defining prevalence and risk factors associated with vascular (aortic) inflammation, as well as myocardial inflammation, using state-of-the-art cardiac PET/CT scanning.