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The effect of thalidomide on corticosteroid-dependent pulmonary sarcoidosis.

Author information

1
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29425, USA.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

To determine the benefit and corticosteroid-sparing potential of thalidomide in corticosteroid-dependent pulmonary sarcoidosis.

METHODS:

The study was a prospective open-label pilot study. Ten subjects were enrolled who had pulmonary sarcoidosis, required corticosteroid therapy for at least six months, and experienced a flare of pulmonary sarcoidosis within the previous 2 years when corticosteroids had been reduced or discontinued. Thalidomide was given at a dose of 200 mg/day for 24 weeks. Dose reductions were allowed in 50 mg/day increments for side effects. After 12 weeks, the baseline corticosteroid dose was halved for the remaining 12 weeks of the study.

RESULTS:

There were no clinically or statistically significant changes in spirometry (FVC% predicted: week 0: 72 +/- 4, week 12: 75 +/- 5, week 24: 73 +/- 4; p = NS), quality of life (as measured by the Short Form-36), or dyspnea (as measured by the Transitional Dyspnea Index) between weeks 0, 12, and 24. Three (30%) subjects demonstrated clinical evidence of a corticosteroid-sparing effect from thalidomide. Three (30%) subjects had to withdraw from the study; two at week 4 because of an acute pulmonary flare of sarcoidosis, and one because of possible side effects. Although nine of 10 (90%) of subjects required a reduction of the thalidomide dose because of side effects, no adverse effects were severe. The most common final dose of thalidomide was 100 mg/day.

CONCLUSIONS:

Thalidomide does not significantly improve pulmonary function or quality of life in patients with corticosteroid-dependent sarcoidosis. Few patients can tolerate doses of greater than 100 mg/day. Thalidomide may have been corticosteroid-sparing in a subgroup of these patients.

PMID:
16933470
DOI:
10.1007/s11083-006-9030-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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