Young man holding his chest - chest pain cardiac sarcoidosis

Cardiac Sarcoidosis

What is cardiac sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis is a rare autoimmune condition where inflammatory cells clump together to form lumps known as granulomas. These can form essentially anywhere in the body, and when they form in the heart they are known as cardiac sarcoidosis (or cardiac sarcoid) and can impact heart function.

What are the symptoms of cardiac sarcoidosis?

There may be no symptoms at all, especially early in the disease process. But common symptoms of cardiac sarcoidosis include:

What causes cardiac sarcoidosis?

The cause of cardiac sarcoidosis, and sarcoidosis overall, is unknown, though it is believed that the condition results from an abnormal immune response.

Research suggests that genetic predisposition coupled with environmental exposure to chemicals, infectious agents (e.g. bacteria and viruses), dust, mould and fumes may increase the risk of developing sarcoidosis.

How is cardiac sarcoidosis diagnosed?

Cardiac sarcoidosis can be difficult to diagnose as it can mimic other conditions and may show no or few symptoms in the early stages of the condition.

Testing for cardiac sarcoidosis may include:

How is cardiac sarcoidosis treated?

Treatment for cardiac sarcoidosis will depend on the severity of the condition and the individual’s symptoms. In some cases, the condition may go away on its own.

Treatment for cardiac sarcoidosis may include:

How can cardiac sarcoidosis be prevented?

As the cause of cardiac sarcoidosis is still unknown, there is no way to prevent the condition.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute - The Home of Heart Research for 30 Years