Sarcoidosis occurs when inflammatory cells or lumps form in the body. It most commonly affects the lungs or lymph nodes but also can affect any organ, including the heart. These lumps can make it difficult for your organs to function normally. Untreated sarcoidosis can result in organ damage.

What are the risk factors for sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis can affect men and women of all ages and ethnicities. The cause of sarcoidosis is unknown, but you may be at increased risk of developing the disease if you:

  • Are African-American

  • Are between the ages of 20 and 40

  • Are female gender, although men can develop the disease as well

  • Have family members who also have sarcoidosis

Tests

Diagnosing sarcoidosis is the first step to developing a treatment plan. Our specialists may recommend one or more diagnostic and imaging procedures.

Angiogram (Angiography)

An angiogram is a special X-ray taken as a special dye is injected through a thin, flexible tube called a catheter to detect blockages or aneurysms in blood vessels.

Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive way to diagnose and treat a variety of heart and vascular conditions by guiding thin, flexible tubes called catheters through blood vessels to problem areas.

Chest X-ray

Chest X-rays use a small dose of radiation to create pictures of the structures inside the chest, including the lungs, heart, and chest wall.

Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan

The cardiac computed tomography scan, or cardiac CT, uses X-rays to create three-dimensional images of your heart and blood vessels.

Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your heart.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

An electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG, measures the heart’s electrical activity.

Electrophysiology Testing

Electrophysiology testing is used to evaluate the cause and location of an abnormal heartbeat (known as an arrhythmia).

Event Monitors

An event monitor is a small device that records the heart’s electrical activity. It’s similar to an electrocardiogram, but where an electrocardiogram takes place over a few minutes, an event monitor measures heart rhythms over a much longer time.

Heart Biopsy

In a heart biopsy, your doctor will remove small samples of your heart muscle tissue to monitor heart function or diagnose a problem.

Holter Monitors

A Holter monitor is a small device that records the heart’s electrical activity. It’s similar to an electrocardiogram, but whereas an electrocardiogram records over a few minutes, a Holter monitor records over the course of a day or two.

Loop Recorder

A loop recorder is a device that’s implanted underneath the skin of your chest to record your heart rhythm for up to three years.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging, better known as cardiac MRI, is a combination of radio waves, magnets, and computer technology to create images of your heart and blood vessels.

Stress Tests

Stress tests are used to assess how your heart works during physical activity. There are several types of stress tests, including treadmill or bike stress tests, nuclear stress tests, stress echocardiograms, and chemically induced stress tests.

Tilt Table Test

Tilt table testing allows your doctor to determine the cause of explained fainting while monitoring changes in your blood pressure and heart rate while tilted at different angles.

Treatments

Our heart and vascular teams from work together and with other specialties, including pulmonology, rheumatology, neurology, ophthalmology, and dermatology, to develop and implement individualized plans to treat a wide variety of conditions. Your treatment plan will be specific to your sarcoidosis and the organs it is affecting. This treatment plan may include medication or more advanced treatments.

Heart Failure Treatment

Treatments for heart failure such as medications, surgery, and mechanical devices vary based on the cause and severity of your condition.

Heart Surgery

Heart surgery is an option to treat many heart conditions. You may need heart surgery either as a lifesaving procedure or when other treatments haven’t worked.

Heart Transplants

A heart transplant replaces a diseased, failing heart with a healthier heart from a donor.

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a device implanted below your collarbone that monitors your heart’s rhythm. When it detects an abnormal rhythm, it delivers an electrical impulse or shock to the heart to correct it.

Pacemaker

A pacemaker is a device that helps control various types of heart rhythm disorders.

Read our Cardiovascular Performance & Outcomes Booklet

Ask MHVI

Have questions for our heart and vascular specialists? Email us at AskMHVI@medstar.net