Of 43 consecutive black patients (42 male) with sarcoidosis, 12 (28%) complained of chest pain that met the clinical criteria for typical (four patients) or atypical (eight patients) angina pectoris. These patients underwent cardiopulmonary assessment, which included exercise and redistribution thallium-201 scans and, if indicated, coronary angiography. Nine control patients with sarcoidosis matched for age and duration of disease, but without chest pain, were also studied by thallium-201 scintigraphy. Six of the 12 patients with chest pain had thallium scans indicative of myocardial ischaemia, but all had normal coronary angiograms; no patient from the control group had evidence of ischaemia on the thallium scan. Four additional patients with chest pain and one from the control group had other (non-specific) abnormalities on the thallium scan, so that scans were abnormal in 10 of the 12 patients with sarcoidosis who had chest pain. Most patients with anginal chest pain reported partial or complete relief of symptoms with nitrates. Anginal chest pain appears to be common in black male patients with sarcoidosis, is associated with abnormal myocardial perfusion scans, and may result from myocardial sarcoidosis.
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