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Rheumatol Int. 2009 Feb;29(4):437-9. doi: 10.1007/s00296-008-0691-8. Epub 2008 Sep 2.

Adalimumab-induced noncaseating granuloma in the bone marrow of a patient being treated for rheumatoid arthritis.

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  • 1Department of Medicine-Rheumatology, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Sarcoidosis is a multisystemic disease characterized by noncaseating granulomatous infiltration, primarily of the lungs and lymphatic system. While reports of the efficacy of adalimumab in the treatment of refractory sarcoidosis have been mixed, the more widely used infliximab has demonstrated clear efficacy in this disease. The association between tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-inhibitors and noncaseating granulomas in the lung has been reported in literature. With the exception of one patient treated with adalimumab, who developed pulmonary granuloma, the remaining patients described in literature were treated with etanercept. The current case study is, to our knowledge, the first to describe adalimumab-induced noncaseating granulomas in the bone marrow of a patient being treated for rheumatoid arthritis and suggests that although TNF-inhibitors are used in the treatment of granulomatous disorders, their use should be carefully monitored as, in rare cases, TNF-inhibitors may leave sufficient cytokine activation to support granuloma formation.

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