Detection of myocardial damage in patients with sarcoidosis

Raymond J. Kim, Manesh R. Patel, Peter J. Cawley, John F. Heitner, Igor Klem, Michele A. Parker, Wael A. Jaroudi, Trip J. Meine, James B. White, Michael D. Elliott, Han W. Kim, Robert M. Judd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

426 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND-: In patients with sarcoidosis, sudden death is a leading cause of mortality, which may represent unrecognized cardiac involvement. Delayed-enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance (DE-CMR) can detect minute amounts of myocardial damage. We sought to compare DE-CMR with standard clinical evaluation for the identification of cardiac involvement. METHODS AND RESULTS-: Eighty-one consecutive patients with biopsy-proven extracardiac sarcoidosis were prospectively recruited for a parallel and masked comparison of cardiac involvement between (1) DE-CMR and (2) standard clinical evaluation with the use of consensus criteria (modified Japanese Ministry of Health [JMH] guidelines). Standard evaluation included 12-lead ECG and at least 1 dedicated non-CMR cardiac study (echocardiography, radionuclide scintigraphy, or cardiac catheterization). Patients were followed for 21±8 months for major adverse events (death, defibrillator shock, or pacemaker requirement). Patients were predominantly middle-aged (46±11 years), female (62%), and black (73%) and had chronic sarcoidosis (median, 7 years) and preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (median, 56%). DE-CMR identified cardiac involvement in 21 patients (26%) and JMH criteria in 10 (12%, 8 overlapping), a >2-fold higher rate for DE-CMR (P=0.005). All patients with myocardial damage on DE-CMR had coronary disease excluded by x-ray angiography. Pathology evaluation in 15 patients (19%) identified 4 with cardiac sarcoidosis; all 4 were positive by DE-CMR, whereas 2 were JMH positive. On follow-up, 8 had adverse events, including 5 cardiac deaths. Patients with myocardial damage on DE-CMR had a 9-fold higher rate of adverse events and an 11.5-fold higher rate of cardiac death than patients without damage. CONCLUSIONS-: In patients with sarcoidosis, DE-CMR is more than twice as sensitive for cardiac involvement as current consensus criteria. Myocardial damage detected by DE-CMR appears to be associated with future adverse events including cardiac death, but events were few, and this needs confirmation in a larger cohort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1969-1977
Number of pages9
Issue number20
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Sarcoidosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Detection of myocardial damage in patients with sarcoidosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this