Diagnostic Accuracy of Cardiac MRI versus FDG PET for Cardiac Sarcoidosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Radiology. 2022 Sep;304(3):566-579. doi: 10.1148/radiol.213170. Epub 2022 May 17.


Background There is limited consensus regarding the relative diagnostic performance of cardiac MRI and fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET for cardiac sarcoidosis. Purpose To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare the diagnostic accuracy of cardiac MRI and FDG PET for cardiac sarcoidosis. Materials and Methods Medline, Ovid Epub, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Embase, Emcare, and Scopus were searched from inception until January 2022. Inclusion criteria included studies that evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of cardiac MRI or FDG PET for cardiac sarcoidosis in adults. Data were independently extracted by two investigators. Summary accuracy metrics were obtained by using bivariate random-effects meta-analysis. Meta-regression was used to assess the effect of different covariates. Risk of bias was assessed using the Quality Assessment Tool for Diagnostic Accuracy Studies-2 tool. The study protocol was registered a priori in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (Prospero protocol CRD42021214776). Results Thirty-three studies were included (1997 patients, 687 with cardiac sarcoidosis); 17 studies evaluated cardiac MRI (1031 patients) and 26 evaluated FDG PET (1363 patients). Six studies directly compared cardiac MRI and PET in the same patients (303 patients). Cardiac MRI had higher sensitivity than FDG PET (95% vs 84%; P = .002), with no difference in specificity (85% vs 82%; P = .85). In a sensitivity analysis restricted to studies with direct comparison, point estimates were similar to those from the overall analysis: cardiac MRI and FDG PET had sensitivities of 92% and 81% and specificities of 72% and 82%, respectively. Covariate analysis demonstrated that sensitivity for FDG PET was highest with quantitative versus qualitative evaluation (93% vs 76%; P = .01), whereas sensitivity for MRI was highest with inclusion of T2 imaging (99% vs 88%; P = .001). Thirty studies were at risk of bias. Conclusion Cardiac MRI had higher sensitivity than fluorodeoxyglucose PET for diagnosis of cardiac sarcoidosis but similar specificity. Limitations, including risk of bias and few studies with direct comparison, necessitate additional study. © RSNA, 2022 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Myocarditis*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Sarcoidosis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18