Advances in radionuclide imaging of cardiac sarcoidosis

Br Med Bull. 2015 Sep;115(1):151-63. doi: 10.1093/bmb/ldv033. Epub 2015 Aug 26.


Introduction: Radionuclide imaging for the diagnosis and monitoring of cardiac involvement in sarcoidosis has advanced significantly in recent years.

Sources of data: This article is based on published clinical guidelines, literature review and our collective clinical experience.

Areas of agreement: Gallium-67 scintigraphy is among the diagnostic criteria for cardiac involvement in systemic sarcoidosis, and it is strongly associated with response to treatment. However, fluorine-18, 2-fluoro-deoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) is now preferred both for diagnosis and for assessing prognosis.

Areas of controversy: Most data are from small observational studies that are potentially biased.

Growing points: Quantitative imaging to assess changes in disease activity in response to treatment may lead to FDG-PET having an important routine role in managing cardiac sarcoidosis.

Areas timely for developing research: Larger prospective studies are required, particularly to assess the effectiveness of radionuclide imaging in improving clinical management and outcome.

Keywords: FDG-PET; SPECT; cardiac sarcoidosis; radionuclide imaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiomyopathies / diagnostic imaging*
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Gallium Radioisotopes
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Perfusion Imaging / methods
  • Myocardial Perfusion Imaging / trends
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / trends
  • Prognosis
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / trends


  • Gallium Radioisotopes
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18