Last updated on February 2020

Cardiac Sarcoidosis Randomized Trial

Brief description of study

Prospective randomized controlled trial comparing low dose Prednisone/Methotrexate combination to standard dose Prednisone in patients diagnosed with acute active clinically manifest cardiac sarcoidosis and not yet treated.

The Investigators hypothesize that low dose Prednisone/Methotrexate combination will be as effective as standard dose Prednisone, and result in significantly better quality of life and less toxicity than standard dose Prednisone.

Detailed Study Description

Subjects meeting the study inclusion/exclusion criteria will be randomized equally to receive

  1. Prednisone 0.5 mg kg/day for 6-months (MAX dose 30 mg per day) or
  2. Methotrexate 15-20 mg po, sc, or IM once a week for 6-months + Folic Acid 2 mg OD for 6 months + Prednisone 20 mg day for 1 month, then 10 mg OD for 1 month, then 5 mg OD for one month then STOP

Methotrexate will be initiated at a dose of 15 mg once a week and increased to 20 mg once a week after 4 weeks if tolerated. In case of Methotrexate-induced side-effects general guidelines will be provided, however specific management will be left to the treating physicians. Folic acid will be taken to help reduce methotrexate side-effects.

Prior to randomization and study treatment all subjects will have the following baseline tests done: baseline safety blood work; FDG-PET scan with myocardial perfusion imaging; ECG; echo; and a bone scan. Cardiac MRI (CMR) is optional but strongly encouraged. Blood will be obtained for biomarker core-lab analysis. Biomarkers to be assayed will include highly sensitive Troponin I. Samples will be stored for future novel biomarker discovery. Quality of LIfe (QOL) questionnaires (KSQ, SAT and SF-36) will be completed prior to treatment start.

After therapy initiation subjects will be seen at 4 weeks, 8 weeks (methotrexate arm only), and 12 weeks, with a final visit at 6 months. Safety bloodwork and assessment for medication side effects, using a medication side-effect questionnaire, will be completed at all visits. At 12 weeks QOL questionnaires will be completed. The primary endpoint will be assessed at 6-months, when FDG-PET with myocardial perfusion imaging, ECG, echo, bone scan, QOL questionnaires, blood for biomarkers and device interrogation will be done. CMR may be repeated. Skin, muscle strength testing and neuropsychiatric assessment will be completed at 6 months as part of the composite glucocorticoid toxicity index.

After the 6 month visit. further management will be at the treating physician's discretion. Details of the physicians planned treatment following the 6-month PET scan will be collected.

Standardized protocols for all aspects of FDG-PET scans (i.e. patient preparation, image acquisition, image processing, transfer to the core lab and analysis at core lab) will be followed.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03593759

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