Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The treatment of active cardiac sarcoidosis (CS) usually involves immunosuppressive therapy, with the goal of preventing inflammation-induced scar formation. In most cases, steroids remain the first-line treatment for CS. However, given the side effect profile of their long-term use, steroid-sparing therapies are increasingly used. There are no published randomized trials of steroid-sparing agents in CS. We sought to do a systematic review to evaluate the current published data on the use of non-steroidal treatments in the management of CS. We searched the Cochrane Library, Ovid Medline, Ovid Embase, PubMed, and Web of Science Core Collection databases from inception of database to August 2020 to identify the effectiveness of biological or synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic agents (s- and bDMARDs). Secondary objectives include safety profile as well as the change in the average corticosteroid dose after treatment initiation. Twenty-three studies were ultimately selected for inclusion which included a total of 480 cases of CS treated with a range of both s- and bDMARDs. In all included studies, sDMARDs and bDMARDs were studied in combination with steroids or as second or higher-line treatments after therapeutic failure or intolerance to corticosteroid use. Methotrexate (MTX) and infliximab (IFX) were the most common synthetic and biologic DMARDs studied respectively, reported in about 35% of the studies reviewed. The use of steroid-sparing agents was associated with a reduction in the maintenance steroid dose used. In conclusion, steroids will remain as the cornerstone of anti-inflammatory management in patients with CS until trials on the use and safety profile of other immunosuppressive agents are completed and published.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Cardiol Heart Vasc

Publication Date





Cardiac sarcoidosis, Corticosteroids, Nonsteroidal treatment