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Rev Med Interne. 2011 Feb;32(2):109-13. doi: 10.1016/j.revmed.2010.10.351. Epub 2010 Dec 14.

[Treatment of sarcoidosis].

[Article in French]

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EA 2363, service de pneumologie, hôpital Avicenne, Assistance publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, université Paris 13, 125, rue de Stalingrad, 93009 Bobigny, France.


Sarcoidosis is a common disorder with heterogeneous severity. Corticosteroids are the cornerstone of its treatment and allow a disease remission but only with a suspensive effect. Immunosuppressive drugs, hydroxychloroquine and infliximab may be useful in some patients. Half of the patients recover spontaneously without any treatment. In the remaining patients, a treatment is necessary either at presentation or during the follow-up in the presence of a disease flare. Treatment duration should be of at least 12 months. The main indications of a systemic treatment include ophthalmologic, neurologic, cardiovascular, renal, laryngeal involvements, severe pulmonary manifestations, lupus pernio and marked hypercalcaemia. Initially, patients should receive prednisone or prednisolone at 0.5 to 1 mg/kg daily for 6 to 12 weeks to obtain a complete remission, and then followed by a gradual dose reduction every 6 to 12 weeks. After treatment completion, a 36-month duration monitoring is warranted to confirm recovery. Low-dose methotrexate and azathioprine are the most useful immunosuppressive drugs and are indicated in patients with of failure or contra-indication of corticosteroids or in those patients who needs a long term prednisone dose higher than 10 mg daily to control the sarcoidosis. Cyclophosphamide used is severe neurologic or heart involvement that is resistant to corticosteroids and other immunosuppressive drugs. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are indicated in extensive skin lesions or as corticosteroids sparing agents. Infliximab can be useful in some severe sarcoidosis patients refractory to classical treatment, except for cardiac involvement. Topical corticosteroids can be used for limited skin involvement, anterior uveitis or cough. In the future, a more individualized treatment could be drawn from pharmacogenetic studies. The key point remains the availability of etiologic or innovative drugs for sarcoidosis refractory to currently available therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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