Vol 27, No 3 (2020)
Original articles — Clinical cardiology
Published online: 2018-09-07

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Cardiac sarcoidosis and ventricular arrhythmias. A rare association of a rare disease. A retrospective cohort study from the National Inpatient Sample and current evidence for management

Amr Salama1, Abdullah Abdullah1, Abdul Wahab1, George Eigbire1, Ryan Hoefen123, Richard Alweis124
Pubmed: 30234899
Cardiol J 2020;27(3):272-277.


Background: Sarcoidosis is an increasingly recognized multi-systemic condition. Cardiac sarcoidosis is associated with ventricular arrhythmias and higher mortality rates. Little epidemiological data is available regarding the disease and associated ventricular arrhythmias.

Methods: Data from the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database 2012–2014, were reviewed. Dis­charges associated with sarcoidosis were identified as the target population using relevant ICD-9-CM codes. Primary outcome was a diagnosis of ventricular tachycardia (VT) in the sarcoidosis population. Secondary outcomes include rate of ventricular fibrillation (VF) and cardiac arrest. Subgroup analyses were performed to examine the association of VT with multiple potential confounding clinical variables.

Results: Of 18,013,878 health encounters, 46,289 (0.26%) subjects had a diagnosis of sarcoidosis. VT and VF were more prevalent among patients with sarcoidosis compared to those without a diagnosis of sarcoidosis (2.29% vs. 1.22%; p < 0.001 and 0.25% vs. 0.21%; p < 0.001, respectively). Sarcoidosis was also associated with a higher prevalence of cardiac arrest (0.72% vs. 0.6%; p < 0.001). In unadjusted analyses, all examined comorbidities were significantly more common in those with sar­coidosis, including diabetes mellitus (31.6% vs. 21.25%; p < 0.001), hypertension (65.2% vs. 51.74%; p < 0.001), chronic kidney disease (21.09% vs. 14.02%; p < 0.001), heart failure (24.87% vs. 15%; p < 0.001) and acute coronary syndrome (4.32% vs. 3.35%; p < 0.001).

Conclusions: The present study showed that sarcoidosis was associated with increased rates of ven­tricular tachyarrhythmia, which can affect the overall disease morbidity and mortality.

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