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Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) inhibitors are increasingly being used for treating refractory cardiac sarcoidosis. There is a theoretical risk, however, that these therapies can worsen heart failure, and reports on efficacy and safety are lacking. We conducted a retrospective review of all cardiac sarcoidosis patients seen at Stanford University from 2009 to 2018. Data were collected on patient demographics, diagnostic testing, and treatment outcomes. We identified 77 cardiac sarcoidosis patients, of which 20 (26%) received TNF-α inhibitor treatment. The majority were treated for progressive heart failure or tachyarrhythmia, along with worsening imaging findings. All TNF-α inhibitor treated patients demonstrated meaningful benefit, as assessed by changes in advanced imaging, echocardiographic measures of cardiac function, and prednisone use. A large cohort (n = 77) of cardiac sarcoidosis patients has been treated at Stanford University. Roughly one-fourth of these patients (n = 20) received TNF-α inhibitors. Of these patients, none had worsening heart failure and all saw clinical benefit. These results help support the use of TNF-α inhibitors for the treatment of cardiac sarcoidosis based on real-world evidence and highlight the need for future prospective studies. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Matthew C Baker, Khushboo Sheth, Ronald Witteles, Mark C Genovese, Stanford Shoor, Julia F Simard. TNF-alpha inhibition for the treatment of cardiac sarcoidosis. Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism. 2020 Jun;50(3):546-552

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PMID: 31806154

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