Reviewed by Dr. Howard Weinstein

Controversy exists as to the best treatment for cardiac sarcoidosis (CS). However, treatment is generally directed at minimizing the inflammation associated with CS and protecting against the life-threatening complications.

Because of their anti-inflammatory properties, corticosteroids (cortisone, prednisone and methylprednisolone) are the first-line therapy. When patients cannot take steroids, or when combination therapy is necessary, medications such as methotrexate, azathioprine, mycophenolate and antimalarials are used.

Additional therapies for specific CS-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.

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