Background: There are few data on sex differences in suspected cardiac sarcoidosis. Methods: Consecutive patients with histologically proven sarcoidosis and suspected cardiac involvement were studied. We investigated sex differences in presenting features, cardiac involvement, and the long-term incidence of a primary composite end point of all-cause death or significant ventricular arrhythmia and secondary end points of all-cause death and significant ventricular arrhythmia. Results: Among 324 patients, 163 (50.3%) were female and 161 (49.7%) were male patients. Female patients had a greater prevalence of chest pain (37.4% versus 23.6%; P=0.010) and palpitations (39.3% versus 26.1%; P=0.016) than male patients but not dyspnea, presyncope, syncope, or arrhythmias at presentation. Female patients had a lower prevalence of late gadolinium enhancement on cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (20.2% versus 35.4%; P=0.003) and less often met criteria for a clinical diagnosis of cardiac sarcoidosis (Heart Rhythm Society consensus criteria, 22.7% versus 36.0%; P=0.012 and 2016 Japanese Circulation Society guideline criteria, 8.0% versus 19.3%; P=0.005), indicating lesser cardiac involvement. However, the long-term incidence of all-cause death or significant ventricular arrhythmia was not different between female and male patients (23.2% versus 23.2%; P=0.46). Among the secondary end points, the incidence of all-cause death was not different between female and male patients (20.7% versus 14.3%; P=0.51), while female patients had a lower incidence of significant ventricular arrhythmia compared with male patients (4.3% versus 13.0%; P=0.022). On multivariable analyses, sex was not associated with the primary end point (hazard ratio for female patients, 1.36 [95% CI, 0.77-2.43]; P=0.29). Conclusions: We observed distinct sex differences in patients with suspected cardiac sarcoidosis. A paradox was identified wherein female patients had a greater prevalence of chest pain and palpitations than male patients, but lesser cardiac involvement, and a similar long-term incidence of all-cause death or significant ventricular arrhythmia.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health grant K23HL132011, a University of Minnesota Clinical and Translational Science Institute KL2 Scholars Career Development Program Award (National Institutes of Health grant KL2TR000113-05), a University of Minnesota Clinical and Translational Science Institute K-R01 Transition to Independence Grant (supported by the National Institutes of Health grant UL1TR002494), and a Lillehei Heart Institute Red Heart Soiree Seed Grant, all awarded to C. Shenoy.
© 2021 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.
- arrhythmias, cardiac
- magnetic resonance imaging
- sex characteristics