Dr Sarah Mackie

Dr Sarah Mackie

Associate Clinical Professor in Vascular Rheumatology, and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist

0113 343 8336

Summary: Associate Clinical Professor in Vascular Rheumatology, and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist

Location: Chapel Allerton Hospital (clinical/academic) and St James’ Hospital (academic)

Research

 

I am a rheumatologist with an interest in the related diseases, giant cell arteritis (GCA) and polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), both of which affect people aged 50 years and over. GCA is a form of vasculitis, which if untreated, can cause permanent blindness or stroke. PMR causes widespread inflammation of the periarticular soft tissues (tissues around the joints), which if untreated causes severe pain and stiffness. Currently, the treatment for these two diseases is restricted to long-term oral glucocorticoid (“steroid”) therapy. Steroids are usually very effective in the short-term, but in the long-term the cumulative toxicity can be significant. For example, long-term steroid treatment can increase the risk of diabetes, fractures, skin thinning and muscle weakness. It can also be difficult to stop long-term steroids, partly because the longer steroid treatment continues, the more likely it will be that the body’s ability to produce its own natural steroids (cortisol) is impaired. There remains a real unmet need amongst patients with GCA and PMR, as for most patients steroid therapy remains the only option.

During my PhD, I initiated the first UK cohort of patients with GCA for genetics studies, the UK GCA Consortium. I subsequently conducted an in-depth phenotyping study using whole-body MRI to evaluate patients with PMR (Mackie et al). This showed the burden of inflammation in patients with PMR and confirmed that this is distinct from the pattern of inflammation seen in rheumatoid arthritis. I was then awarded a NIHR Clinician Scientist Fellowship to determine whether ultrasound imaging might help improve the diagnosis of patients with suspected PMR. This work (ADDRESS-PMR) is now nearing completion.

I have over 70 publications in the leading peer-reviewed journals in my field. I have an H-index of 14 and 701 citations (according to Scopus, 2017). For a comprehensive list of these publications, please follow this link.