Semin Respir Crit Care Med 2020; 41(05): 626-640
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1712535
Review Article

Cardiac Sarcoidosis

David H. Birnie
1  Division of Cardiology, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
› Author Affiliations


Approximately 5% of patients with sarcoidosis will have clinically manifest cardiac involvement presenting with one or more of ventricular arrhythmias, conduction abnormalities, and heart failure. It is estimated that another 20 to 25% of pulmonary/systemic sarcoidosis patients have asymptomatic cardiac involvement (clinically silent disease). Cardiac presentations can be the first (and/or an unrecognized) manifestation of sarcoidosis in a variety of circumstances. Immunosuppression therapy (usually with corticosteroids) has been suggested for the treatment of clinically manifest cardiac sarcoidosis (CS) despite minimal data supporting it. Positron emission tomography imaging is often used to detect active disease and guide immunosuppression. Patients with clinically manifest disease often need device therapy, typically with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). The extent of left ventricular dysfunction seems to be the most important predictor of prognosis among patients with clinically manifest CS. In the current era of earlier diagnosis, modern heart failure treatment, and use of ICD therapy, the prognosis from CS is much improved. In a recent Finnish nationwide study, 10-year cardiac survival was 92.5% in 102 patients.

Publication History

Publication Date:
27 June 2020 (online)

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