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Metabolic and Structural Skeletal Muscle Health in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus–Related Fatigue: A Multimodal Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jiabao He


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© 2019, American College of RheumatologyObjective: To investigate the potential structural and metabolic role of skeletal muscle in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)–related fatigue. Methods: A case–control, multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study was conducted. Cases were patients with inactive SLE who reported chronic fatigue. Controls were age- and sex-matched healthy members of the general population. Patients were clinically characterized and then underwent a 3T whole-body MRI scan. Resting and dynamic 31P MRI spectroscopy of the calf muscles was applied, from which phosphocreatine (PCr) recovery halftime, a marker of mitochondrial dysfunction, was computed. In addition, microstructural sequences (T1-weighted anatomic images, T2 mapping, and diffusion tensor imaging) were acquired. Descriptive statistics evaluated group differences and within-case physical fatigue correlations were explored. Results: Of the 37 recruits (mean age 43.8 years, 89.2% female), cases (n = 19) reported higher levels of physical fatigue, pain, depression, and sleep disturbance compared to the control group (P < 0.0001). PCr was greater (P = 0.045) among cases (mean ± SD 33.0 ± 9.0 seconds) compared to controls (mean ± SD 27.1 ± 6.6 seconds). No microstructural group differences were observed. Within cases, physical fatigue did not correlate with PCr (r = –0.28, P = 0.25). Conclusion: We report preliminary data demonstrating greater skeletal muscle mitochondrial dysfunction among fatigued patients with SLE compared to healthy controls.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cheung SM, Keenan K, Senn N, Hutcheon G, Chan K, Erwig L, Schrepf A, Dospinescu P, Gray S, Waiter G, He J, Basu N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Arthritis Care and Research

Year: 2019

Volume: 71

Issue: 12

Pages: 1640-1646

Print publication date: 01/12/2019

Online publication date: 10/01/2019

Acceptance date: 08/01/2019

ISSN (print): 2151-464X

ISSN (electronic): 2151-4658

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc.


DOI: 10.1002/acr.23833

PubMed id: 30629805


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