Aims: To evaluate the value of (18)F-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography ((18)F-FDG PET) in detecting cardiac sarcoidosis.
Methods and results: Thirty-two patients with sarcoidosis and thirty controls were recruited. All subjects underwent cardiac (18)F-FDG PET after a 6 h fasting period, and subjects with sarcoidosis underwent blood testing, ECG, echocardiography, and (67)Ga and (99m)Tc-sestamibi (MIBI) scintigraphy. We classified (18)F-FDG PET images into four patterns ('none', 'diffuse', 'focal', and 'focal on diffuse') and found that all the control subjects exhibited either none (n=16) or diffuse (n=14) pattern. In contrast, fifteen subjects with sarcoidosis exhibited none, seven exhibited diffuse, eight exhibited focal, and two exhibited focal on diffuse patterns, with the prevalence of the focal and focal on diffuse patterns being significantly higher in the sarcoidosis group when compared with the control group (P<0.001). None of the 32 subjects with sarcoidosis exhibited abnormal findings on (67)Ga scintigraphy, and 4 exhibited abnormal findings on (99m)Tc-MIBI scintigraphy.
Conclusion: Focal uptake of the heart on (18)F-FDG PET images is a characteristic feature of patients with sarcoidosis. Furthermore, (18)F-FDG PET has the potential to detect cardiac sarcoidosis that cannot be diagnosed by (67)Ga or (99m)Tc-MIBI scintigraphy.