Pericardial Involvement in Sarcoidosis

Am J Cardiol. 2022 May 1:170:100-104. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2022.01.025. Epub 2022 Feb 25.


Pericardial disease secondary to sarcoidosis is a rare clinical entity with no observational studies in previous research. Therefore, we evaluated reported cases of pericarditis because of sarcoidosis to further understand its diagnosis and management. We performed a systematic review of previous research until December 16, 2020 in MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Web of Science. Case reports and case series demonstrating pericardial involvement in sarcoidosis were included. Fourteen reports with a total of 27 patients were identified. Dyspnea (82%) was the most common presentation, with the lungs being the primary site of sarcoidosis in most patients (77%). The most frequently encountered pericardial manifestations were pericardial effusion (89%), constrictive pericarditis and cardiac tamponade (48%). Management of these patients included use of corticosteroids (82%), colchicine (11%), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (7%). Similar to the general population, the most common intervention in these patients was pericardiocentesis (59%), pericardial window (30%), and pericardiectomy (19%). Overall, the majority of this population (70%) achieved clinical improvement during median follow-up time of 8 months. In conclusion, the prevalence and incidence of sarcoid-induced pericarditial disease remain unclear. Clinical manifestations of pericardial involvement are variable, though many patients present with asymptomatic pericardial effusions. No consensus exists on the treatment of this special population, but corticosteroids and combination therapies are considered first-line therapies because of their efficacy in suppressing pericardial inflammation and underlying sarcoidosis. Patients with refractory cases of pericarditis may also benefit therapeutically from the addition of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, colchicine, and/or biologics.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Colchicine
  • Humans
  • Pericardial Effusion* / diagnosis
  • Pericardial Effusion* / epidemiology
  • Pericardial Effusion* / etiology
  • Pericardiectomy
  • Pericardiocentesis
  • Pericarditis* / diagnosis
  • Pericarditis* / epidemiology
  • Pericarditis* / etiology
  • Pericarditis, Constrictive* / diagnosis
  • Pericarditis, Constrictive* / epidemiology
  • Pericarditis, Constrictive* / etiology
  • Sarcoidosis* / complications
  • Sarcoidosis* / diagnosis
  • Sarcoidosis* / epidemiology


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Colchicine