IgG4-related cardiovascular disorders

Int Heart J. 2014;55(4):287-95. doi: 10.1536/ihj.13-321. Epub 2014 Jun 5.


Immunoglobulin4 (IgG4)-related disease is a systemic inflammatory disease characterized by elevation of serum IgG4. It involves various organs such as the pancreas (autoimmune pancreatitis), lacrimal gland (Mikulicz's disease), retroperitoneum (retroperitoneal fibrosis), aorta (aortic aneurysm and aortitis), heart (constrictive pericarditis), and pseudotumors around the coronary arteries. These disorders often coexist in accordance with progression of the disease. Because IgG4-related cardiovascular disorder affects the patient's prognosis, early detection and treatment is important. Coronary CT imaging and echocardiography accidentally detect IgG4-related disorders and (18)FDG-PET imaging can identify active inflammation in the lesions. Measurement of serum IgG4 levels and tissue biopsy are necessary for diagnosis. Minor salivary gland biopsy is recommended even though (18)FDG uptake is not detected when it is difficult to obtain a biopsy specimen from IgG4-related cardiovascular lesions. The first-line treatment is high-dose corticosteroid therapy, however, relapse is often reported. Corticosteroids suppress the development of active inflammatory diseases such as aortitis, pericarditis, and pseudotumors, but already-developed lesions do not respond. A large developed aneurysm can rupture even during or after corticosteroid therapy, therefore, additional surgical treatment may be needed. Treatment of IgG4-related cardiovascular disorders might require higher doses of corticosteroids than IgG4-related extracardiovascular disorders. The adequate dose of corticosteroid, type and dose of immunosuppressant, and surgical intervention should be carefully considered on a case-by-case basis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Autoimmunity
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Immunoglobulin G