SCMR Promotes Heart MRIs During National Sarcoidosis Awareness Month

SCMR Promotes Heart MRIs During National Sarcoidosis Awareness Month

During April, National Sarcoidosis Awareness Month, the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (SCMR) is promoting the use of cardiac imaging to non-invasively assess changes in patients’ heart tissue and overall cardiac function.

Sarcoidosis is marked by an overreactive immune system and the resulting formation of small clumps of inflammatory cells, called granulomas, in various tissues and organs — often including the heart — potentially affecting their function. Cardiac sarcoidosis may lead to an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and heart failure.

Typically, diagnostic tests for sarcoidosis involve electrocardiograms, echocardiography, and endomyocardial biopsy (the collection of tissue from the endocardium, the innermost layer of the heart). But cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) — a painless, radiation-free imaging test that uses radio waves, magnets, and a computer to create films and detailed heart pictures — can assess the heart tissue in a non-invasive way.

“The ability to non-invasively assess changes in the heart tissue while at the same time assessing overall cardiac function is a major advantage in the diagnosis and care of cardiac sarcoidosis,” Jennifer Jordan, PhD, SCMR member, said a news release. “We now have many MRI-conditional devices that allow patients who have cardiac sarcoidosis and an implanted device to undergo cardiac MRI for either clinical care or research.”

Cardiac MRI offers detailed images of the cardiovascular system. The technique can confirm cardiac involvement, assess inflammation and response to treatment, and monitor the heart’s left ventricular function.

Cardiac MRI also is feasible to perform in anyone, from newborns to adults, after evaluation by a physician or heart specialist.

A 2017 study found that such imaging techniques, also referred to as cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR), can markedly improve the diagnosis of cardiac sarcoidosis and accurately predict the risk of future life-threatening cardiac episodes.

The SCMR represents and advocates for 2,600 physicians, researchers, and technologists who work in the field of cardiovascular magnetic resonance. It aims to further develop such imaging techniques through education, quality control, research, and training.

With this initiative, the SCMR hopes to raise awareness of sarcoidosis, in particular for the diagnosis of cardiac sarcoidosis.

Sarcoidosis is estimated to affect about 200,000 people in the U.S., and cardiac sarcoidosis is reported in about 5-50% of sarcoidosis patients.

Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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2 comments

  1. Mike Wilson says:

    I assume that an MRI cannot be use with people whose hearts have been damaged by sarcoidosis to the point that a pacemaker has been placed.

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