Detection of myocardial involvement in patients with sarcoidosis applying T2-weighted, contrast-enhanced, and cine magnetic resonance imaging: initial results of a prospective study

J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2002 Sep-Oct;26(5):762-7. doi: 10.1097/00004728-200209000-00017.


Purpose: To assess myocardial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in sarcoidosis.

Methods: Cardiac assessment was prospectively performed in patients with sarcoidosis and included physical examination, electrocardiogram, echocardiography, thallium-201 myocardial scintigraphy, and coronary angiography if coronary disease was suspected. T2-weighted black-blood single-shot and inversion recovery fast spin echo, functional gradient echo, and T1-weighted gadolinium-DTPA-enhanced cardiac MRI examinations were performed in 40 patients while other cardiac disease was excluded.

Results: Results of the MRI images were normal in cardiac-asymptomatic stage I or Lofgren syndrome patients (n = 4). Among the patients with cardiac-asymptomatic multiple organ sarcoidosis, 17 of 31 patients (54%) had MRI myocardial abnormalities similar to those observed in five patients with cardiac symptoms: nodular peripheral increased intramyocardial signal intensity on both T2-weighted and contrast-enhanced images (n = 5), focal or patchy increased signal on contrast-enhanced images with or without myocardial thickening (n = 10), and focal increased signal only on T2-weighted images with or without myocardial thinning (n = 2). Focal contractility abnormalities were noticed in nine patients.

Conclusions: These preliminary results emphasize the occurrence of subclinical myocardial MRI abnormalities in patients with ongoing systemic sarcoidosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiomyopathies / diagnosis
  • Cardiomyopathies / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sarcoidosis / pathology*