Skip to content

Cardiac Sarcoidosis: Treatment

Make an Appointment

This information was reviewed and approved by Howard D. Weinberger, MD, FACC (3/1/2021).

What Is the Treatment for Cardiac Sarcoidosis?

There is no cure for cardiac sarcoidosis, but it can be treated. However, controversy exists as to the best treatment for cardiac sarcoidosis. Treatment is often directed at minimizing the inflammation seen with cardiac sarcoidosis and protecting against the life-threatening complications.

Because of their anti-inflammatory properties, corticosteroids (cortisone, prednisone, and methylprednisolone) are the first-line therapy to treat the inflammation. Corticosteroids are very good at reducing inflammation (swelling). The steroids (corticosteroids) used to treat cardiac sarcoidosis are not the same as anabolic steroids, used illegally by some athletes for bodybuilding. Corticosteroids do not affect the liver or cause sterility.

When people cannot take steroids, or when combination therapy is needed, other medications to suppress the immune system are used. These include: methotrexate, azathioprine, mycophenolate, antimalarials and others.
Additional therapies for specific cardiac sarcoidosis related heart disorders may be necessary. For example, heart rhythm disorders such as complete heart block typically require placement of a permanent pacemaker, whereas ventricular tachycardia generally requires internal cardiac defibrillator (ICD) placement.

What Do We Do at National Jewish Health?

We provide comprehensive cardiology evaluation and consultation and noninvasive cardiac testing. We evaluate and treat heart problems such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart valve problems and heart failure. In addition to traditional heart problems, we offer expertise in many other focus areas, including evaluation of patients with shortness of breath with exercise, sarcoidosis of the heart, diastolic dysfunction and secondary pulmonary hypertension.

For more than 100 years, National Jewish Health has been committed to finding new treatments and cures for diseases. Search our clinical trials.