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Medicine (Baltimore). 1996 Sep;75(5):251-61.

Sarcoidosis and common variable immunodeficiency. Report of 8 cases and review of the literature.

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  • 1Eudowood Division of Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


The true incidence of sarcoidosis in common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is unknown. We report here 8 cases of sarcoidosis among 80 patients with CVID followed in our clinics, along with 22 well-documented cases reported in the literature. Sarcoidosis, therefore, represents an important entity to consider among patients with CVID who exhibit clinical, radiographic, laboratory, and biopsy findings compatible with sarcoidosis. Conversely, the diagnosis of CVID should be considered in patients with sarcoidosis who do not exhibit the characteristic hypergammaglobulinemia and who have a history of recurrent infections. Although many features of sarcoidosis are similar in patients with CVID to those in patients with sarcoidosis alone, there are many important differences. Patients with CVID in whom sarcoidosis develops present with hypogammaglobulinemia rather than hypergammaglobulinemia and have a higher prevalence of recurrent infections, thrombocytopenia, and splenic involvement. Steroids, in most cases, appeared helpful in reducing adenopathy and splenomegaly, improving uveitis, lowering serum alkaline phosphatase, and reversing hematologic abnormalities. The underlying pathophysiology responsible for the association of these 2 disorders in the same patient remains obscure. However, as more patients are identified, it may be possible to gain a better understanding of the immunologic defect responsible for the dual presentation of these 2 relatively uncommon diseases.

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