Cardiac sarcoidosis: challenges in clinical practice

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Abstract

Purpose of review

To address the current recommendations for screening, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiac sarcoidosis and the difficulties to put these recommendations into clinical practice.

Recent findings

The incidence of cardiac sarcoidosis appears to be higher than earlier reported, probably because of improved imaging techniques. Late gadolinium enhancement with cardiac MRI (LGE-CMR) and fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography obtained a central role in the diagnostic algorithm and monitoring of disease activity. New techniques are being investigated: T1 and T2 mapping for early detection in CMR, a sarcoid-specific tracer in PET, integrated positron emission tomography/MRI scanners, and assessment of scar with LGE in cardiac computed tomography. Isolated cardiac sarcoidosis is an increasingly recognized phenotype, but still an enormous challenge in clinical practice. The prognostic value of (and extent of) LGE-CMR should be taken into account for risk assessment and internal cardiac defbrillator therapy, even in patients with preserved left ventricular function. Unfortunately, randomized controlled trials to guide immunosuppressive therapy are still lacking. A multidisciplinary approach to diagnose and treat cardiac sarcoidosis patients in specialized centers is strongly recommendable.

Summary

Cardiac sarcoidosis is increasingly recognized because of improved imaging techniques; however, treatment of cardiac sarcoidosis is still mainly based on expert opinion.

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