Screening tools for the detection of clinically silent cardiac sarcoidosis

Alessandro De Bortoli, Kristin A. Dawson, Dalia Hashem, Stewart David Spence, Elena Pena, João R. Inacio, Pablo Nery, Daniel Juneau, Girish Dwivedi, Robert Beanlands, Ian Paterson, David H. Birnie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: clinically silent cardiac sarcoidosis (CS) may be associated with adverse outcomes, hence the rationale for screening patients with extracardiac sarcoidosis. The optimal screening strategy has not been clearly defined. Methods: patients with extra-cardiac sarcoidosis were prospectively included and underwent screening consisting of symptom history, electrocardiography (ECG), transthoracic echocardiogram, Holter, and signal-averaged ECG (SAECG). Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) was performed in all patients. Clinically silent CS was defined as CMR demonstrating late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) in a pattern compatible with CS according to a majority of independent and blinded CMR experts. Significant cardiac involvement was defined as the presence of LGE ≥6% and/or a positive fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography. Results: among the 129 patients included, clinically silent CS was diagnosed in 29/129 (22.5%), and 19/129 patients (14.7%) were classified as CS with significant cardiac involvement. There was a strong association between hypertension and CS (p < 0.05). Individual screening tools provided low diagnostic yield; however, combination of tests performed better, for example, a normal Holter and a normal SAECG had negative predictive values of 91.7%. We found consistently better diagnostic accuracy for the detection of CS with significant cardiac involvement. Conclusion: clinically silent CS and CS with significant cardiac involvement were found in 22.5% and 14.7% of patients with extra-cardiac sarcoidosis. The association with hypertension raises the possibility that some cases of hypertensive cardiomyopathy may be mistaken for CS. Screening with readily available tools, for example Holter and SAECG, may help identifying patients without CS where additional CMR is not needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107538
Number of pages8
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Early online date13 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


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