Management of cardiac sarcoidosis in the United States: a Delphi study

Chest. 2012 Jan;141(1):154-162. doi: 10.1378/chest.11-0263. Epub 2011 Jul 7.


Background: No formal guidelines exist to guide physicians caring for patients with sarcoidosis in their screening for management of patients with cardiac sarcoidosis. We conducted a modified Delphi study to investigate if a consensus could be reached on the best approaches for screening for and management of cardiac sarcoidosis.

Methods: A modified Delphi study design with two rounds of questionnaires was used to investigate if a consensus existed among sarcoid experts in the United States on the best management approaches for cardiac sarcoidosis. Experts were identified based on their national reputation as sarcoid experts and by being actively involved in sarcoidosis clinics at their institutions.

Results: Overall agreement was low to moderate. Agreement was reached on the role of history, physical examination, and 12-lead ECG in screening, echocardiogram, Holter monitor, myocardial fluorodeoxyglucose PET scan, and cardiac MRI in workup, and steroids in treatment. Agreement was not reached on the role of signal-averaged ECG in screening, optimum dose of prednisone, use of steroid-sparing agents, and duration of treatment. Several comments underscore the diverse approaches and uncertainty that exist in managing cardiac sarcoidosis.

Conclusions: Our study highlights the dilemma that sarcoid experts face in their approach to cardiac sarcoidosis. It also highlights the lack of agreement among sarcoid experts on key aspects of diagnosis and management and stresses the importance of collaborative efforts to investigate the best strategies for screening for and management of cardiac sarcoidosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cardiomyopathies / diagnosis*
  • Cardiomyopathies / therapy
  • Clinical Competence
  • Delphi Technique*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Disease Management*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Immunosuppression / methods*
  • Prognosis
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnosis*
  • Sarcoidosis / therapy
  • United States


  • Immunologic Factors