Background: Cardiac sarcoidosis (CS) is an increasingly recognized cause of cardiomyopathy; however, data on immunosuppressive strategies are limited. Treatment with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha inhibitors is not well described; moreover, there may be heart failure–related safety concerns. Methods: Retrospective multicenter study of patients with CS treated with TNF alpha inhibitors. Baseline characteristics, treatments, and outcomes were adjudicated. Results: Thirty-eight patients with CS (mean age 49.9 years, 42% women, 53% African American) were treated with TNF alpha inhibitor (30 infliximab, 8 adalimumab). Prednisone dose decreased from time of TNF alpha inhibitor initiation (21.7 ± 17.5 mg) to 6 months (10.4 ± 6.1 mg, P =.001) and 12 months (7.3 ± 7.3 mg, P =.002) after treatment. On pre-TNF alpha inhibitor treatment positron emission tomography with 18-flourodoxyglucose (FDG-PET), 84% of patients had cardiac FDG uptake. After treatment, there was a significant decrease in number of segments involved (3.5 ± 3.8 to 1.0 ± 2.5, P =.008) and maximum standardized uptake value (3.59 ± 3.70 to 0.57 ± 1.60, P =.0005), with 73% of patients demonstrating complete resolution or improvement of cardiac FDG uptake. The left ventricular ejection fraction remained stable (45.0 ± 16.5% to 47.0 ± 15.0%, P =.10). Four patients required inpatient heart failure treatment, and 8 had infections; 2 required treatment cessation. Conclusions: TNF alpha inhibitor treatment guided by FDG-PET imaging may minimize corticosteroid use and effectively reduce cardiac inflammation without significant adverse effect on cardiac function. However, infections were common, some of which were serious, and therefore patients require close monitoring for both infection and cardiac symptoms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine