Sarcoidosis is a poorly understood disease that most commonly affects the lungs but can also involve almost every part of the body including the heart. Cardiac sarcoidosis (CS) is estimated to be present in 10-25 percent of patients with sarcoidosis.
Sarcoidosis is characterized by the presence of granulomas, which are ball-like collections of white blood cells that cluster around and react to a foreign substance. The inflammation associated with granulomas can damage virtually every part of the heart, including the electrical system, muscle, valves, arteries, and surrounding tissue called the pericardium. It is important to remember CS can precede, follow, or occur simultaneously with other non-cardiac forms of sarcoid.