Cardiac sarcoidosis

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Abstract

Cardiac sarcoidosis (CS) is a rare but potentially fatal condition that may present with a wide range of clinical manifestations including congestive heart failure, conduction abnormalities, and most notably, sudden death. Recent advances in imaging technology allow easier detection of CS, but the diagnostic guidelines with inclusion of these techniques have yet to be written. It has become clear that minimally symptomatic or asymptomatic cardiac involvement is far more prevalent than previously thought. Because of the potential life-threatening complications and potential benefit of treatment, all patients diagnosed with sarcoidosis should be screened for cardiac involvement. Patients with CS and symptoms such as syncope need an aggressive workup for a potentially life-threatening etiology, and often require implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy. CS patients without arrhythmic symptoms are still at risk for sudden death and may warrant an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator for primary prevention reasons. Athough corticosteroids are regarded as the first-line drug of choice, therapy for CS is not yet standardized, and it is unclear at this point whether asymptomatic patients require therapy. Randomized clinical trials are clearly warranted to answer these very important patient care questions, and are endorsed fully by the authors.

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