Effect of Corticosteroid Therapy in Patients With Cardiac Sarcoidosis on Frequency of Venous Thromboembolism

Nikhil Kolluri, Mohamed Y. Elwazir, Andrew N. Rosenbaum, Fathi A. Maklady, Omar F. AbouEzzeddine, Suraj Kapa, Lori A. Blauwet, Panithaya Chareonthaitawee, Robert D. McBane, John P. Bois

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sarcoidosis is a multisystem inflammatory condition with occasional cardiac involvement (CS), which may be associated with risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). As data on VTE in CS are sparse and corticosteroid therapy has not been previously examined, we aim to determine the association between CS, corticosteroid treatment for CS, and VTE. Patients referred to our institution with concern for sarcoidosis and underwent a positron emission tomography (PET) scan were retrospectively assessed. Chi-squared and multivariate regression analyses were conducted to determine the association between a diagnosis of sarcoidosis, CS, corticosteroid use, and VTE events. Six hundred and forty nine patients were split into 3 categories: 235 with no sarcoidosis (NS), 91 with extra-cardiac sarcoidosis only (ECS), and 323 with CS (isolated CS and/or CS with extra cardiac sarcoid). Thirty nine CS, 7 ECS, and 9 NS patients developed PE while 44 CS, 3 ECS, and 18 NS patients developed DVT. On multivariate regression, neither CS nor ECS was an independent risk factor for VTE (p >0.05) but corticosteroid use was independently associated with VTE (HR 3.06, p = 0.007 for PE, HR 6.21, p <0.0001 for DVT). On logistic regression analysis, corticosteroid dose was found to be independently associated with both PE (p = 0.001) and DVT (p = 0.007). Optimal threshold for defining VTE risk with corticosteroid therapy was a prednisone-equivalent dose of 17.5 mg. In conclusion, contrary to previous studies, this current study found that neither sarcoidosis nor CS is an independent risk factor for VTE. Rather, corticosteroid therapy was associated with an increased risk of VTE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-118
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
StatePublished - Jun 15 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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