18-FDG-PET in a patient cohort suspected for cardiac sarcoidosis: Right ventricular uptake is associated with pathological uptake in mediastinal lymph nodes

Research paper by Heikki Tuominen, Atte Haarala, Antti Tikkakoski, Mika Kähönen, Kjell Nikus, Kalle Sipilä

Indexed on: 03 May '18Published on: 02 May '18Published in: Journal of Nuclear Cardiology


In up to 65% of cardiac sarcoidosis patients, the disease is confined to the heart. Diagnosing isolated cardiac sarcoidosis is challenging due to the low sensitivity of endomyocardial biopsy. If cardiac sarcoidosis is part of biopsy-confirmed systemic sarcoidosis, the diagnosis can be based on cardiac imaging studies. We compared the imaging features of patients with isolated cardiac FDG uptake on positron emission tomography with those who had findings indicative of systemic sarcoidosis.137 consecutive cardiac FDG-PET/CT studies performed on subjects suspected of having cardiac sarcoidosis were retrospectively analyzed.33 patients had pathological left ventricular FDG uptake, and 12 of these also had pathological right ventricular uptake. 16/33 patients with pathological cardiac uptake had pathological extracardiac uptake. 10/12 patients with both LV- and RV-uptake patterns had extracardiac uptake compared to 6/21 of those with pathological LV uptake without RV uptake. SUVmax values in the myocardium were higher among patients with abnormal extracardiac uptake. The presence of extracardiac uptake was the only imaging-related factor that could predict a biopsy indicative of sarcoidosis.Right ventricular involvement seems to be more common in patients who also have findings suggestive of suspected systemic sarcoidosis, compared with patients with PET findings indicative of isolated cardiac disease.

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