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27.02.2019 | Original Article Open Access

FDG-PET in possible cardiac sarcoidosis: Right ventricular uptake and high total cardiac metabolic activity predict cardiovascular events

Journal of Nuclear Cardiology
MD Heikki Tuominen, MD, PhD Atte Haarala, MD Antti Tikkakoski, MD, PhD Mika Kähönen, MD, PhD Kjell Nikus, MD, PhD Kalle Sipilä
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s12350-019-01659-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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Suomen Lääketieteen säätiö Suomen Kliinisen fysiologian yhdistys Finska Läkaresällskapet .

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Cardiac involvement accounts for the majority of morbidity and mortality in sarcoidosis. Pathological myocardial fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-uptake in positron emission tomography (PET) has been associated with cardiovascular events and quantitative metabolic parameters have been shown to add prognostic value. Our aim was to study whether the pattern of pathological cardiac FDG-uptake and quantitative parameters are able to predict cardiovascular events in patients with suspected cardiac sarcoidosis (CS).


137 FDG-PET examinations performed in Tampere University Hospital were retrospectively analyzed visually and quantitatively. Location of pathological uptake was noted and pathological metabolic volume, average standardized uptake value (SUV), and total cardiac metabolic activity (tCMA) were calculated. Patients were followed for ventricular tachycardia, decrease in left ventricular ejection fraction, and death.


Eleven patients had one or more cardiovascular events during the follow-up. Five patients out of 12 with uptake in both ventricles had an event during follow-up. Eight patients had high tCMA (> 900 MBq) and three of them had a cardiovascular event. Right ventricular uptake and tCMA were significantly associated with cardiovascular events during follow-up (P-value .001 and .018, respectively).


High tCMA and right ventricular uptake were significant risk markers for cardiac events among patient with suspected CS.

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