Hybrid Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Positron Emission Tomography With Fluorodeoxyglucose to Diagnose Active Cardiac Sarcoidosis

Marc R Dweck, Ronan Abgral, Maria Giovanna Trivieri, Philip M Robson, Nicolas Karakatsanis, Venkatesh Mani, Anna Palmisano, Marc A Miller, Anuradha Lala, Helena L Chang, Javier Sanz, Johanna Contreras, Jagat Narula, Valentin Fuster, Maria Padilla, Zahi A Fayad, Jason C Kovacic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to explore the diagnostic usefulness of hybrid cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) and positron emission tomography (PET) using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) for active cardiac sarcoidosis.

BACKGROUND: Active cardiac sarcoidosis (aCS) is underdiagnosed and has a high mortality.

METHODS: Patients with clinical suspicion of aCS underwent hybrid CMR/PET with late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) and FDG to assess the pattern of injury and disease activity, respectively. Patients were categorized visually as magnetic resonance (MR)+PET+ (characteristic LGE aligning exactly with increased FDG uptake), MR+PET- (characteristic LGE but no increased FDG), MR-PET- (neither characteristic LGE nor increased FDG), and MR-PET+ (increased FDG uptake in absence of characteristic LGE) and further characterized as aCS+ (MR+PET+) or aCS- (MR+PET-, MR-PET-, MR-PET+). FDG uptake was quantified using maximum target-to-normal-myocardium ratio and the net uptake rate (Ki) from dynamic Patlak analysis. Receiver operating characteristic methods were used to identify imaging biomarkers for aCS. FDG PET was assessed using computed tomography/PET in 19 control subjects with healthy myocardium.

RESULTS: A total of 25 patients (12 males; 54.9 ± 9.8 years of age) were recruited prospectively; 8 were MR+PET+, suggestive of aCS; 1 was MR+PET-, consistent with inactive cardiac sarcoidosis; and 8 were MR-PET-, with no imaging evidence of cardiac sarcoidosis. Eight patients were MR-PET+ (6 with global myocardial FDG uptake, 2 with focal-on-diffuse uptake); they demonstrated distinct Ki values and hyperintense maximum standardized uptake value compared with MR+PET+ patients. Similar hyperintense patterns of global (n = 9) and focal-on-diffuse (n = 2) FDG uptake were also observed in control patients, suggesting physiological myocardial uptake. Maximum target-to-normal-myocardium ratio values were higher in the aCS+ group (p < 0.001), demonstrating an area under the curve of 0.98 on receiver operating characteristic analysis for the detection of aCS, with an optimal maximum target-to-normal myocardium ratio threshold of 1.2 (Youden index: 0.94).

CONCLUSIONS: CMR/PET imaging holds major promise for the diagnosis of aCS, providing incremental information about both the pattern of injury and disease activity in a single scan. (In Vivo Molecular Imaging [MRI] of Atherothrombotic Lesions; NCT01418313).

Original languageEnglish
JournalJACC: Cardiovascular Imaging
Early online date14 Jun 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Jun 2017


  • Journal Article


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