Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

J Heart Lung Transplant


Introduction: Sarcoidosis is a systemic disease that can masquerade as many conditions. Due to its often patchy distribution, myocardial biopsy is only ∼30% sensitive. Herein we present a case of sarcoidosis diagnosed from an extra-cardiac biopsy years after the onset of cardiomyopathy.

Case Report: A 54 year old man initially presented with dyspnea and fatigue due to new onset HFrEF of 20%. He had a significant family history of SCD. His workup revealed non-obstructive CAD, a myxomatous mitral valve with bileaflet prolapse and moderate regurgitation, and a cystic structure attached to the tricuspid valve. Given his frequent ventricular ectopy, he was discharged on guideline therapy for HFrEF and a wearable cardioverter defibrillator. Genetic testing for dilated cardiomyopathies revealed EYA4 and TTN variants of unknown significance. A cardiac MRI a few months later demonstrated no abnormal late gadolinium enhancement and persistent systolic dysfunction, so he underwent AICD implant. His course was further complicated by recurrent admissions for supraventricular and ventricular tachyarrhythmias. A cardiopulmonary exercise stress test demonstrated low-risk results. Further evaluation noted prolonged AV conduction. A RHC revealed mild post-capillary pulmonary hypertension and a mildly decreased cardiac index at 2.01 L/min/m2. Months later, he underwent CRT-D upgrade. He started improving functionally until he developed left eyelid swelling, initially thought to be lymphoma. An orbital biopsy revealed non-caseating granulomas. A PET/CT demonstrated FDG uptake within subcarinal lymph nodes but no cardiac uptake. Initially he declined immunomodulatory therapy, but as his symptoms worsened, he started corticosteroids and transitioned to mycophenolate mofetil due to intolerance of methotrexate. Due to disease progression on repeat FDG-PET, he was switched to infliximab. The diagnosis of sarcoidosis can be difficult due to its variable presentation, including heart block, heart failure, ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Cardiac involvement occurs in 25% of cases. Our case was complicated by a cMRI that was negative for cardiac involvement, which emphasizes the importance of complimentary inflammatory imaging with FDG-PET. A multidisciplinary approach is needed that engages sarcoid specialists for earlier diagnosis to ensure rapid initiation of therapy to reduce end-organ dysfunction.





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