Dr Sarah Mackie
|Primary Designation||Consultant Rheumatologist|
|Secondary Designation||Associate Clinical Professor in Vascular Rheumatology|
|Special Interests||My research interests are polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) and giant cell arteritis (GCA). These two diseases have a similar typical age of onset (the average is about 75 years old for both, but people as young as 50 can be affected), are often found together, have overlapping clinical features, and are both treated with glucocorticoids (�steroids�).
My research is driven by questions that patients tell me are important to them: accurate diagnosis and avoiding over-medication.
PMR can be difficult to diagnose, even for experts. I am interested in how doctors use information from tests, such as the blood tests commonly done for this condition, and whether extra blood tests or scans might add additional useful information to this. I am currently leading a systematic literature review on imaging in PMR in order to help inform the soon-to-be-updated British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) guidelines for diagnosis and management of PMR.
ADDRESS-PMR is a diagnostic accuracy study, recruiting patients who are suspected by their general practitioner (GP) to have new-onset PMR. We will compare the findings of a combined musculoskeletal and vascular ultrasound with the clinical diagnosis confirmed by an expert one year later. The ultrasound has to be done before the patient is started on any glucocorticoid treatment because it is known that this treatment can mask the signs of the disease on the ultrasound. Because of this we have set up a fast-track pathway, which means the patient can generally get their ultrasound and clinical evaluation and start on treatment within a week of referral to the study. At the moment this study is just being done in Leeds because of the specialized nature of the ultrasound scan.