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The longitudinal study of chronic sarcoidosis.


Although spontaneous remissions are frequent in sarcoidosis, chronic persistent disabling disease is also observed. This feature seems more frequent and more severe in black patients, as has been previously reported (10). The more extensive and severe the initial disease manifestations, the more likely it is that the disease will continue. Corticosteroids are usually beneficial and complications are infrequent. Delayed or interrupted treatment seems to allow progression or irreversible disease or both. Patient compliance is an obvious important factor. Relapses are frequent as treatment is withdrawn but are usually at least partially reversible. Some deterioration is observed with repeated relapses. Low dose daily prednisone (5-15 mg) seems to prevent relapses. Patient compliance is facilitated with daily treatment rather than alternate day therapy. Prolonged treatment for 10 to 15 or more years is often required. Chloroquine is particularly helpful in skin and mucosal disease. The necessity for long-term thoughtful management is obvious.

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