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1.  Validation of the japanese version of the sarcoidosis health questionnaire: A cross-sectional study 
Although impaired health-related quality of life (HRQOL) has been reported in patients with sarcoidosis, there is currently no sarcoidosis-specific questionnaire in Japan. The 29-item Sarcoidosis Health Questionnaire (SHQ), originally developed in the United States, is the only sarcoidosis-specific HRQOL questionnaire currently available. The primary aim of this study was to develop and validate a Japanese version of the SHQ.
The SHQ was translated into Japanese following the forward-backward procedure. The reliability and validity of the Japanese version of the SHQ were examined. One hundred twenty-two Japanese patients with biopsy-proven sarcoidosis were evaluated by the SHQ, the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short form (SF-36), the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), chest radiography, an electrocardiogram, laboratory blood tests, pulmonary function tests, an echocardiogram, and assessments of dyspnea and depressive symptoms. The SHQ was found to have acceptable levels of internal consistency (Cronbach's coefficient α values = 0.68 to 0.91). SHQ scores correlated significantly with scores on the SF-36 and SGRQ. The domain or total scores on the SHQ also significantly correlated with serum levels of the soluble interleukin-2 receptor, the percentage of the predicted forced vital capacity, pulmonary arterial systolic pressure, dyspnea, and depressive symptoms. Also, the SHQ scores of patients who had one or two organ systems affected by sarcoidosis were significantly different from those of patients who had three or more organ systems involvement.
The Japanese version of the SHQ can be used to assess the HRQOL of patients with sarcoidosis.
PMCID: PMC3118310  PMID: 21569587
2.  Quality of Life in Sarcoidosis: Comparing the Impact of Ocular and Non-ocular Involvement of the Disease 
Ophthalmic epidemiology  2010;17(4):217-224.
To compare the differences in vision and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of individuals with ocular and non-ocular sarcoidosis; and to examine the impact of specific demographic and clinical factors on the noted differences.
A cross-sectional study using non-randomized prospective cohort was conducted at the National Eye Institute (protocol number: 06-EI-0239, NCT00379275) from August 31, 2006 until November 15, 2007. Each participant completed vision and HRQOL questionnaires, the Sarcoidosis Health Questionnaire (SHQ) and the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ), along with a demographic/environmental exposure survey. Clinical data were collected through an ophthalmic exam as part of the research protocol.
The study enrolled 75 biopsy-proven and 20 clinically presumed sarcoidosis participants which were divided into two cohorts, ocular (N = 60) and non-ocular groups (N = 35). The ocular group had significantly lower (P < 0.01) total NEI-VFQ scores compared to the non-ocular group. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that participants with ocular sarcoidosis who had an annual household income of < $50,000 (P < 0.01) had significantly lower total SHQ scores while participants with ocular sarcoidosis whose visual acuity was 20/100 or worse had significantly lower total NEI-VFQ scores (P = 0.03).
Ocular involvement impacts both overall and vision-related quality of life among sarcoidosis patients. Lower economic status appears to have a significant impact on the quality of life of sarcoidosis patients. Assessment of visual function and general health status provide pertinent information for individuals with sarcoidosis and should be included in their care to assess burden of their disease on their quality of life.
PMCID: PMC2994064  PMID: 20642344
Health-related quality of life; Vision-related quality of life; Ocular sarcoidosis; Pulmonary sarcoidosis; Burden of disease
3.  The six-minute walk test in patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2009;4(2):60-64.
The 6-min walk test (6MWT) is a useful tool to assess prognosis and functional impairment in various pulmonary diseases.
To evaluate functional capacity during various stages of pulmonary sarcoidosis and develop a scoring system clinical radiological physiological score (CRP) that can potentially be used to assess the functional status among patients with sarcoidosis.
We performed a retrospective study on 26 patients diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis from 2001 to 2007. All patients completed the 6MWT. The parameters assessed during the test included spirometry, arterial blood gas, 6-min walk distance (6MWD), Borg dyspnea score, and initial and end oxygen saturation.
Females covered a significantly shorter distance than males (343 m (223–389) vs. 416.5 m (352–500); P < 0.0001). In addition, females had a significantly lower SpO2 at the end of the 6MWT than males (90.5 (61–99) vs. 96 (75–98); P < 0.03). The 6MWD was inversely correlated with the final Borg score (ρ = −0.603, P = 0.004) and the CRP score (ρ = −0.364, P = 0.047) and positively correlated with forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) % (ρ = 0.524, P = 0.006) and forced vital capacity (FVC) % (ρ = 0.407, P = 0.039).
Female gender, FEV1%, final Borg score, FVC%, CRP score, and SpO2 at the end of the 6MWT are associated with reduced 6MWD. It appears that Saudi patients diagnosed with sarcoidosis have a markedly reduced walking distance compared with other races. The effect of race and ethnicity and the utility of the CRP score as a potential marker to assess functional status require further exploration.
PMCID: PMC2700479  PMID: 19561926
Functional status; pulmonary sarcoidosis; 6-min walk test
4.  Effects of broad-spectrum antimycobacterial therapy on chronic pulmonary sarcoidosis 
Sarcoidosis is an idiopathic, granulomatous disease for which molecular and immunologic studies have shown an association between it and mycobacterial antigens. Microbial antigens can reduce expression of the tyrosine kinase Lck, which has been associated with sarcoidosis severity. Here we investigate the efficacy of Concomitant Levofloxacin, Ethambutol, Azithromycin, and Rifampin (the CLEAR regimen) for treatment of chronic, pulmonary sarcoidosis.
Fifteen chronic, pulmonary sarcoidosis patients with forced vital capacities (FVC) between 45–80% of predicted were enrolled in this open-label trial. The primary efficacy endpoint was change in absolute FVC from baseline to completion of therapy. Secondary endpoints were change in functional capacity measured by Six Minute Walk Distance (6MWD) and quality of life assessment measured by St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ).
Of 15 patients enrolled, 11 completed 4 weeks of therapy, and 8 completed 8 weeks of therapy. The CLEAR regimen was associated with an increase in FVC of 0.23 liters at 4 weeks and 0.42 liters at 8 weeks (P=0.0098 and 0.016, respectively). The 6MWD increased by 87 meters from baseline to 8 weeks (p=0.0078). The mean score of the validated SGRQ was improved at 8 weeks over baseline (p=0.023). Normalized expression of Lck and NF-κB was observed in those with clinical improvement.
The CLEAR regimen is associated with improved absolute FVC, as well as increased functional capacity and quality-of-life in selected chronic pulmonary sarcoidosis patients. Larger, randomized, controlled trials are needed to confirm these findings and to identify patients most likely to benefit from therapy.
PMCID: PMC3929334  PMID: 24284293
Sarcoidosis; Clinical trial; antibiotics
5.  Reliability and Convergent Validity of the Cutaneous Sarcoidosis Activity and Morphology Instrument for Assessing Cutaneous Sarcoidosis 
JAMA dermatology  2013;149(5):10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.60.
To assess the reliability and convergent validity of two outcome instruments for assessing cutaneous sarcoidosis: Cutaneous Sarcoidosis Activity and Morphology Instrument (CSAMI) and Sarcoidosis Activity and Severity Index (SASI).
Cross-sectional study evaluating cutaneous sarcoidosis disease severity using CSAMI, SASI, and Physician's Global Assessment (PGA) as reference.
Cutaneous sarcoidosis clinic.
8 dermatologists evaluated 11 patients with cutaneous sarcoidosis.
Main Outcome Measures
Primary outcomes: Inter- and intra-rater reliability and convergent validity. Secondary outcomes: Correlation with quality of life measures and time required for completion.
All instruments demonstrated good to excellent intra-rater reliability. Inter-rater reliability was excellent for CSAMI Activity scores (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC], 0.82; 95% CI, 0.66-0.94), and fair to poor for CSAMI Damage (0.42; 0.21-0.72), modified Facial SASI (0.40; 0.17-0.72), and PGA scores (0.40; 0.18-0.70). CSAMI Activity, Damage, and modified Facial SASI scores all demonstrated convergent validity with statistically significant correlations with PGA scores. Trends for correlations were seen between CSAMI scores and specific Skindex-29 quality of life domains. While CSAMI required longer time to complete than SASI, both were scored within adequate time for use in clinical trials.
CSAMI appears to be a reliable and valid outcome instrument to measure cutaneous sarcoidosis and may capture a wide range of body surface and cutaneous morphologies. Future research is necessary to demonstrate its sensitivity to change and to confirm its correlation with quality of life measures.
PMCID: PMC3868362  PMID: 23677081
6.  Reproductive and Hormonal Factors in Relation to Incidence of Sarcoidosis in US Black Women 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2012;176(7):635-641.
The authors assessed the relation of hormonal and pregnancy-related factors to the incidence of sarcoidosis in the Black Women's Health Study. On biennial questionnaires, participants (US black women aged 21–69 years at baseline) reported data on diagnoses of sarcoidosis, reproductive history, and medication use. Cox regression models, adjusted for age, education, geographic region, smoking, and body mass index, were used to estimate incidence rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals. During 694,818 person-years of follow-up from 1995 through 2009, 452 incident cases of sarcoidosis were identified. The incidence of sarcoidosis decreased as age at menopause increased (P-trend = 0.03). Both later age at first full-term birth and having a more recent birth were associated with a reduced incidence of sarcoidosis. In models that included both factors, the incidence rate ratios were 0.60 (95% confidence interval: 0.37, 0.97) for age at first birth ≥30 years versus <20 years (P-trend = 0.05) and 0.73 (95% confidence interval: 0.43, 1.24) for <5 years since last birth versus ≥15 years (P-trend = 0.15). No significant associations were observed with age at menarche, parity, lactation, oral contraceptive use, or female hormone use. These results suggest that later full-term pregnancy and longer exposure to endogenous female hormones may be related to a reduced risk of sarcoidosis.
PMCID: PMC3530373  PMID: 22967742
African Americans; hormones; prospective studies; reproduction; risk factors; sarcoidosis; women; women's health
7.  Outcome measures of the 6 minute walk test: relationships with physiologic and computed tomography findings in patients with sarcoidosis 
We assessed the relationship between physiologic parameters, computed tomography patterns, 6 minute walk distance (6MWD) and the distance-saturation product [DSP; defined as the product of the 6MWD and the lowest oxygen saturation during the 6 minute walk test (6MWT)]. In addition, we investigated factors affecting 6MWD in patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis.
We performed a retrospective study of patient demographics, treatment, pulmonary function, 6MWT, echocardiography and computed tomography results.
Fifty nine patients were included in this study. Their mean+standard deviation age was 47.5 years + 12.5 years, and 42 (71.2%) were female. Mean pulmonary function parameters for forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and total lung capacity (TLC) results, as percentages of predicted values, were 77.6 ± 22.2, 77.1 ± 22.8 and 78.7 ± 16.1, respectively. Comparison of the DSP with distance walked revealed a significant correlation with factors underlying reduced 6MWD, including gender, pulmonary function indices, partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2), and Borg dyspnea score. Other factors were significantly associated with DSP but not distance; these included lung fibrosis (p = 0.02), pulmonary hypertension (p = 0.01) and systemic therapy (p = 0.04). Backward elimination stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that gender, and FEV1 were independent predictors of 6MWD, but FEV1 was more strongly related when DSP applied [DSP, R2 = 0.53, p = 0.02; distance, R2 = 0.45, p < 0.0001].
Our findings reveal that, compared to 6MWD alone, the DSP is correlated with a greater number of factors associated with reduced 6MWT performance. Therefore, the DSP may be a useful indicator of functional status in patients with sarcoidosis. Additional large-scale studies are warranted to validate our findings.
PMCID: PMC2924267  PMID: 20696064
8.  Safety and Efficacy of ARA 290 in Sarcoidosis Patients with Symptoms of Small Fiber Neuropathy: A Randomized, Double-Blind Pilot Study 
Molecular Medicine  2012;18(1):1430-1436.
ARA 290 (a peptide designed to activate the innate repair receptor that arrests injury and initiates cytoprotection, antiinflammation and healing) reduces allodynia in preclinical neuropathy models. We studied the safety and efficacy of ARA 290 to reduce symptoms of small fiber neuropathy (SFN) in patients with sarcoidosis. A total of 22 patients diagnosed with sarcoidosis and symptoms of SFN were enrolled in a double-blind, placebo-controlled exploratory trial consisting of three times weekly intravenous dosing of ARA 290 (2 mg; n = 12) or placebo (n = 10) for 4 wks. Inclusion criteria were a diagnosis of neuropathy and a spontaneous pain score of ≥5 (Brief Pain Inventory [BPI]). Endpoints assessed were changes in pain intensity and the small fiber neuropathy screening list (SFNSL) score, quality of life (SF-36), depressive symptoms (Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology [IDS]) and fatigue (Fatigue Assessment Scale [FAS]). No safety concerns were raised by clinical or laboratory assessments. The ARA 290 group showed significant (p < 0.05) improvement at wk 4 in SFNSL score compared with placebo (Δ −11.5 ± 3.04 versus Δ −2.9 ± 3.34 [standard error of the mean]). Additionally, the ARA 290 group showed a significant change from baseline in the pain and physical functioning dimensions of the SF-36 (Δ −23.4 ± 5.5 and Δ −14.6 ± 3.9, respectively). The mean BPI and FAS scores improved significantly but equivalently in both patient groups. No change was observed in the IDS. ARA 290 appears to be safe in patients with sarcoidosis and can reduce neuropathic symptoms.
PMCID: PMC3563705  PMID: 23168581
9.  A predictive tool for an effective use of 18F-FDG PET in assessing activity of sarcoidosis 
18F-FDG PET/CT (PET) is useful in assessing inflammatory activity in sarcoidosis. However, no appropriate indications are available. The aim of this study was to develop a prediction rule that can be used to identify symptomatic sarcoidosis patients who have a high probability of PET-positivity.
We retrospectively analyzed a cohort of sarcoidosis patients with non organ specific persistent disabling symptoms (n = 95). Results of soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2R) assessment and high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) were included in the predefined model. HRCT scans were classified using a semi-quantitative scoring system and PET findings as positive or negative, respectively. A prediction model was derived based on logistic regression analysis. We quantified the model’s performance using measures of discrimination and calibration. Finally, we constructed a prediction rule that should be easily applicable in clinical practice.
The prediction rule showed good calibration and good overall performance (goodness-of-fit test, p = 0.78, Brier score 20.1%) and discriminated between patients with positive and negative PET findings (area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve, 0.83). If a positive predictive value for the presence of inflammatory activity of ≥90% is considered acceptable for clinical decision-making without referral to PET, PET would be indicated in only 29.5% of the patients. Using a positive predictive value of 98%, about half of the patients (46.3%) would require referral to PET.
The derived and internally validated clinical prediction rule, based on sIL-2R levels and HRCT scoring results, appeared to be useful to identify sarcoidosis patients with a high probability of inflammatory activity. Using this rule may enable a more effective use of PET scan for assessment of inflammatory activity in sarcoidosis.
PMCID: PMC3509391  PMID: 22978780
Clinical prediction rule; High-resolution computed tomography; Soluble interleukin-2 receptor; PET; Sarcoidosis
10.  18F-FDG PET/CT for the Assessment of Myocardial Sarcoidosis 
Current cardiology reports  2013;15(4):352.
Cardiac involvement portends a poor prognosis in patients with sarcoidosis. However, due to the nonspecific clinical manifestations of the disease, patchy myocardial involvement, and the limited diagnostic yield of diagnostic tests, early diagnosis of cardiac sarcoidosis has been exceedingly difficult. As a result, there is no standardized approach for the early diagnosis of cardiac sarcoidosis. Imaging modalities that can both identify disease and predict response to therapy are paramount to improve management of cardiac sarcoidosis. 18F-FDG PET has many practical advantages in assessing disease activity and monitoring treatment response in patients with cardiac sarcoidosis. Accumulating data support the growing role of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET in the diagnosis and risk stratification of patients with cardiac sarcoidosis.
PMCID: PMC4009625  PMID: 23544184
Cardiac sarcoidosis; 18F-FDG; PET; Myocardial sarcoidosis
11.  Differential Expression of MicroRNA and Predicted Targets in Pulmonary Sarcoidosis 
Recent studies show that various inflammatory diseases are regulated at the level of RNA translation by small non-coding RNAs, termed microRNAs (miRNAs). We sought to determine whether sarcoidosis tissues harbor a distinct pattern of miRNA expression and then considered their potential molecular targets.
Methods and Results
Genome-wide microarray analysis of miRNA expression in lung tissue and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was performed and differentially expressed (DE)-miRNAs were then validated by real-time PCR. A distinct pattern of DE-miRNA expression was identified in both lung tissue and PBMCs of sarcoidosis patients. A subgroup of DE-miRNAs common to lung and lymph node tissues were predicted to target transforming growth factor (TGFβ)-regulated pathways. Likewise, the DE-miRNAs identified in PBMCs of sarcoidosis patients were predicted to target the TGFβ-regulated “wingless and integrase-1” (WNT) pathway.
This study is the first to profile miRNAs in sarcoidosis tissues and to consider their possible roles in disease pathogenesis. Our results suggest that miRNA regulate TGFβ and related WNT pathways in sarcoidosis tissues, pathways previously incriminated in the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis.
PMCID: PMC4041713  PMID: 22209793
microRNA; granuloma; gene; TGFβ; peripheral blood mononuclear cells; lung
12.  Armodafinil for Sarcoidosis-Associated Fatigue: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial 
Fatigue has been identified in more than one-half of patients with sarcoidosis. Although fatigue is not synonymous with impaired quality of life, most studies of sarcoidosis identify fatigue as a major cause of impaired quality of life.
To test the hypothesis that stimulants may have a role in the treatment of fatigued sarcoidosis patients, even without objective evidence of daytime sleepiness.
This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study of sarcoidosis patients followed up in one sarcoidosis clinic Sarcoidosis patients with fatigue received either armodafinil or placebo with eight weeks of therapy for each arm and a two week washout period before crossover to the other treatment. Initial armodafinil dose was 150 mg and increased to 250 mg after four weeks. Patients underwent polysomnography and multiple sleep latency testing (MSLT) the following day. Patients with an apnea/hypopnea index <6/hour received either armodafinil or placebo. Polysomnography with MSLT was repeated after each treatment arm.
Fifteen patients received the study drug. Fatigue was assessed using the Fatigue Assessment Scale (the lower the score, the less the fatigue) and the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy—Fatigue (FACIT-F) (the higher the score, the less the fatigue). After eight weeks of therapy, there was a significant improvement in the Fatigue Assessment Scale during armodafinil treatment (median −4.5, range −20, 5) compared with placebo treatment (median 3.5, range −9, 14, P < 0.05) and for the FACIT-F (armodafinil: median 9, range −12, 26 vs. placebo: median −5, range −17, 11, P < 0.005). This improvement in fatigue was seen for both those with and without shortened sleep onset latency time during the MSLT.
Armodafinil treatment led to a significant reduction in fatigue in sarcoidosis patients. This effect was seen even in patients who did not have excessive daytime somnolence.
PMCID: PMC3678278  PMID: 22917711
Sarcoidosis; fatigue; sleep apnea; daytime somnolence; armodafinil
13.  Sarcoidosis: Psychotherapy and Long-Term Outcome—A Case Report 
Case Reports in Medicine  2012;2012:232491.
Sarcoidosis is a systemic, inflammatory disease of unknown aetiology, influenced by stressful life events and associated with a high incidence of alexithymic personality traits, and of depressive symptoms. The medical literature on sarcoidosis has called for a psychotherapeutic intervention to modify the perceived state of disease, the influence of stressful events and the depressive condition. Few studies have described cases treated with psychotherapy, and no information is available on its long-term outcome. We present the case of a patient with chronic sarcoidosis and periodical reacutizations with constantly pathological ESR. Twenty-four years after the diagnosis, a dynamic supportive-expressive psychotherapy for psychosomatic alexithymic patients was added to the medical therapy. At the beginning and at the end of the psychotherapy, and for the long-term outcome evaluations, Kellner's symptom questionnaire (SQ) was used to investigate psychological distress. The SQ scores, initially pathological, were normal at the end of the psychotherapy and for the following three years. Psychotherapy, without antidepressive drugs, resolved the depression. The depressive symptoms disappeared, along with the normalization and stabilization of the ESR. After three years, the outcome was positive. This is the first study describing a successful psychotherapy and its long-term outcome on a patient with sarcoidosis.
PMCID: PMC3323847  PMID: 22548076
14.  Cardiac involvement in Caucasian patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis 
Respiratory Research  2014;15(1):15.
Cardiac sarcoidosis (CS) is a potentially life-threatening condition. At present, there is no consensus with regard to the optimal non-invasive clinical evaluation and diagnostic procedures of cardiac involvement in patients with sarcoidosis. The aim of this study in a large homogenous Scandinavian sarcoidosis cohort was therefore to identify risk factors of cardiac involvement in patients with sarcoidosis, and the value of initial routine investigation with ECG and cardiac related symptoms in screening for CS.
In this retrospective study a cohort of 1017 Caucasian patients with sarcoidosis were included. They were all screened with ECG at disease onset and investigated for CS according to clinical routine.
An abnormal ECG was recorded in 166 (16.3%) of the 1017 patients and CS was later diagnosed in 22 (13.2%) of them, compared to in one (0.1%) of the 851 sarcoidosis patients with a normal ECG (p < 0.0001). The risk for CS was higher in patients with a pathologic ECG combined with cardiac related symptoms (11/40) (27.5%) compared to those with pathologic ECG changes without symptoms (11/126) (8.7%) (p < 0.01). Furthermore, patients with Löfgren’s syndrome had a reduced risk for CS compared to those without (p < 0.05) the syndrome.
This study on an unusually large and homogenous sarcoidosis population demonstrate the importance of an abnormal ECG and cardiac related symptoms at disease onset as powerful predictors of a later diagnosis of cardiac sarcoidosis. In contrast, CS is very rare in subjects without symptoms and with a normal ECG. This knowledge is of importance, and may be used in a clinical algorithm, in identifying patients that should be followed and investigated extensively for the presence of CS.
PMCID: PMC3922031  PMID: 24506975
Cardiac sarcoidosis; Extra-pulmonary involvement; Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; Human leukocyte antigen; Sarcoidosis
15.  Sarcoidosis in a young child with Alagille syndrome: a case report 
We report a now 6-year-old African-American male with both Alagille syndrome and pediatric sarcoidosis. With a prior JAG1 mutation positive diagnosis of Alagille syndrome, he presented to the hospital with a subacute, predominantly respiratory febrile condition, eventually diagnosed as sarcoidosis. A liver biopsy revealed paucity of bile ducts and scattered epithelioid granulomas, while a skin biopsy showed granulomatous angiitis, a manifestation of sarcoidosis not yet reported in a pediatric patient. He has subsequently been treated with corticosteroids, mycophenolate mofetil, and infliximab with clinical response. Alagille syndrome and sarcoidosis have not yet been reported in the medical literature in the same patient to the best of our knowledge. We briefly review these two seemingly unrelated conditions and propose a possible common pathogenic mechanism.
PMCID: PMC3599400  PMID: 22937766
Sarcoidosis; Alagille syndrome; Granulomatous angiitis; Granuloma; JAG1; NOTCH1; T lymphocyte
16.  Sarcoidosis in the United States—1968 to 1984 
In order to provide national data on the epidemiology of sarcoidosis in the United States, data from the National Center for Health Statistics were examined for the period 1968 to 1984. Sarcoidosis appeared among the diagnoses of over 20,000 hospital discharges in recent years. It was mentioned on 605 death certificates in 1982, and as underlying cause of death on 339.
In blacks, rates of hospital discharge with the diagnosis were eight times those of whites in 1981, and death rates were 20 times those of whites at ages 15 to 44 years. Women had higher rates than men. Both hospitalization and mortality data may give distorted pictures of this frequently mild or asymptomatic condition. Furthermore, no information was available on the percentage of diagnoses confirmed by biopsy, or on severity of disease in hospitalized patients.
Race-specific hospital discharge rates must be interpreted with caution in this survey. Nevertheless, patterns were generally consistent with studies of prevalence and incidence. Further descriptive and analytic studies of the epidemiology of sarcoidosis are needed to help identify modifiable risk factors and possible causes.
PMCID: PMC2571546  PMID: 3249322
17.  Replication of genetic loci for sarcoidosis in US black women: data from the Black Women's Health Study 
Human genetics  2013;132(7):803-810.
In the United States, incidence and mortality from sarcoidosis, a chronic, granulomatous disease, are increased in black women. In data from the Black Women's Health Study, a follow-up of US black women, we assessed two SNPs (rs2076530 and rs9268480) previously identified in the BTNL2 gene (chromosome 6p21), of which rs4424066 and rs3817963 are perfect proxies, to determine if they represent independent signals of disease risk. We also assessed whether local ancestry in four genomic regions previously identified through admixture mapping was associated with sarcoidosis. Finally, we assessed the relation of global percent African ancestry to risk. We conducted a nested case–control study of 486 sarcoidosis cases and 943 age- and geography-matched controls. Both BTNL2 SNPs were associated with risk of sarcoidosis in separate models, but in a combined analysis the increased risk was due to the A-allele of the rs3817963 SNP; each copy of the A-allele was associated with a 40 % increase in risk of sarcoidosis (p = 0.02) and was confirmed by our haplotypic analysis. Local African ancestry around the rs30533 ancestry informative marker at chromosome 5q31 was associated with a 29 % risk reduction (p = 0.01). Therefore, we adjusted our analysis of global African ancestry for number of copies of African alleles in rs30533. Subjects in the highest quintile of percent African ancestry had a 54 % increased risk of sarcoidosis. The present results from a population of African-American women support the role of the BTNL2 gene and the 5q31 locus in the etiology of sarcoidosis, and also demonstrate that percent African ancestry is associated with disease risk.
PMCID: PMC3746966  PMID: 23543185
18.  Undiagnosed myocardial sarcoidosis presenting as life threatening cardiac dysrhythmia 
BMJ Case Reports  2011;2011:bcr0620103092.
Sarcoidosis is a systemic disorder of unknown aetiology characterised by its pathological hallmark of non-caseating granuloma. Definitive diagnosis requires compatible clinical and imaging features as well as pathogenic identification of non-caseating granulomas in at least one organ. The disease has a wide variety of clinical and radiological manifestations but is associated with low mortality. However, cardiac involvement which is clinically only identified in 5% significantly worsens prognosis due to complications such as congestive heart failure, ventricular tachyarrhythmia, pulmonary hypertension or conduction disturbance leading to sudden death. Cardiac involvement is implicated in 77–85% of deaths directly related to sarcoidosis. Autopsy series in sarcoidosis patients show cardiac involvement with sarcoidosis in up to 79% cases. This case details the clinical course of a 56-year-old female who had experienced refractory cardiac dysrhythmias for many years in the context of also having biopsy proven pulmonary sarcoidosis. She had failed multiple antiarrhythmics as well as pacemaker and implantable cardioverter defibrillator placement. It was not until she presented as a potentially fatal ventricular tachycardia that the possibility of cardiac involvement from her sarcoidosis was entertained as the aetiology of her cardiac problems. Confirmation of myocardial sarcoidosis with PET CT imaging and subsequent treatment with prednisone resulted in her clinical improvement.
PMCID: PMC3079453  PMID: 22701002
19.  Disfiguring Annular Sarcoidosis Improved by Adalimumab 
Case Reports in Dermatology  2011;3(2):103-106.
Depending on the location, dermatoses can produce blemishes that severely impair quality of life and require highly effective treatment that is otherwise used for extensive skin involvement. We report the case of a 39-year-old, otherwise healthy male disfigured by an 8 × 7-cm hypopigmented and centrally atrophic annular plaque with erythematous indurated borders in an area of scar tissue on his forehead. Skin biopsies revealed non-caseating granulomas, and hilar involvement was identified, leading to the diagnosis of systemic sarcoidosis stage II with cutaneous involvement. The lesions proved resistant to multiple therapies, but responded within 4 months to adalimumab with regression of the lesion and inflammatory infiltrate. The visual analogue scale of disease activity decreased from 7/10 to 3.5/10, and the Dermatology Life Quality Index from 16/30 to 3/30 points. In conclusion, TNF-α inhibition can control inflammation and disfigurement by cutaneous sarcoidosis and restore quality of life.
PMCID: PMC3104865  PMID: 21677887
Cutaneous sarcoidosis; Systemic sarcoidosis; Sarcoidosis treatment; Adalimumab; TNF-α antagonist
20.  Comparison of cutaneous sarcoidosis with systemic sarcoidosis: a retrospective analysis 
Objective: To investigate clinical characteristics and treatment effect of sarcoidosis with cutaneous lesions in Chinese patients, and to compare them with previous works. Methods: Retrospective analysis was conducted based on clinical manifestations, systemic examinations and treatment of biopsy-proved 36 patients with sarcoidosis with cutaneous lesions in our hospital since 2000. Patients were divided into cutaneous sarcoidosis (CS) group without systemic involvement and systemic sarcoidosis (SS) group with systemic involvement according to whether extracutaneous systems were involved. Results: Male to female ratio was 1:4.1 in total 36 patients. Average age of onset was (43.6±15.8) years old in CS group and (54.4±11.5) years old in SS group. The most common cutaneous lesions were papulonodules (41.7%) and frequently found in limbs (61.1%). There were 26 patients in SS group, and lung was the most common organ with systemic involvement, followed by lymph nodes. In SS group, elevation of inflammatory parameters and evident changes of chest radiologic examination were often observed. 72.2% patients were treated with glucocorticoid and the overall therapeutic efficacy rate was 48.4%. The therapeutic efficacy in CS group (80%) was significantly higher than SS group (33.3%). Papulonodules type had better response to therapy and usually resolved after treatment. Lupus pernio type was resistant to treatment. Conclusion: Sarcoidosis occurs more frequently in females. Lung is the most commonly affected extracutaneous organ in SS patients. CS patients have better response to therapy than SS patients. Types of cutaneous lesions and existence of systemic involvement are related to prognosis of cutaneous lesions.
PMCID: PMC3885493  PMID: 24427359
Cutaneous sarcoidosis; systemic sarcoidosis; prognosis
21.  Skeletal muscle weakness in patients with sarcoidosis and its relationship with exercise intolerance and reduced health status 
Thorax  2005;60(1):32-38.
Background: Skeletal muscle weakness is assumed to be present in patients with sarcoidosis but has never been reported in a consecutive group of patients. Moreover, its relationship with previously observed exercise intolerance and reduced health status has never been studied in these patients.
Methods: Pulmonary function, skeletal and respiratory muscle forces, peak and functional exercise capacity, health status, and the circulating levels of inflammatory and anabolic markers were determined in 25 patients with sarcoidosis who complained of fatigue (15 men) and in 21 healthy subjects (13 men).
Results: Patients with sarcoidosis had lower respiratory and skeletal muscle forces, reduced exercise capacity and health status, higher anxiety and depression scores, and higher circulating levels of tumour necrosis factor-α than healthy subjects (all p⩽0.01). Its soluble receptor p75 tended to be higher (p = 0.04). Circulating levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, insulin-like growth factor I and its binding protein 3 were not significantly different between the two groups. Skeletal muscle weakness was related to exercise intolerance, depression, and reduced health status in patients with sarcoidosis, irrespective of age, sex, body weight and height (p⩽0.05). Quadriceps peak torque was inversely related to fatigue but not to the circulating levels of inflammatory or anabolic markers. The mean daily dose of corticosteroids received in the 6 month period before testing was related to quadriceps peak torque only in patients who received oral corticosteroids.
Conclusion: Skeletal muscle weakness occurs in patients with sarcoidosis who complain of fatigue and is associated with reduced health status and exercise intolerance.
PMCID: PMC1747159  PMID: 15618580
22.  Steroid-Sparing effects of pentoxifylline in pulmonary sarcoidosis 
Agents that target pro-inflammatory cytokines may be useful in pulmonary sarcoidosis.
To determine effectiveness of a non-selective cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitor, pentoxifylline (POF).
Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
Clinical Research Center, National Institutes of Health.
27 patients with biopsy-confirmed pulmonary sarcoidosis receiving prednisone.
Placebo or POF (1200-2000 mg/day) for 10 months, as prednisone was tapered.
Primary endpoints: sustained improvement in two or more pulmonary function parameters, or a combination of one pulmonary function parameter and dyspnea.
Except for one patient, primary endpoints were not reached in POF-treated patients. Therefore, a post hoc analysis was performed. The observed relative risk reduction for flares associated with POF treatment was 54.9% (95% CI 0.21, 0.89) and the absolute risk reduction was 50.6% (95% CI 0.22, 0.80). Compared to placebo treatment, in the POF group, the mean prednisone dose was lower at 8 and 10 months (p = 0.007 and 0.01 respectively), and there was a trend towards less prednisone usage over the entire study period (p = 0.053), as determined by cumulative change analysis.
Although our exploratory post hoc analysis suggested that POF reduced flares and had steroid-sparing effects, given the study limitations, definitive conclusions cannot be drawn regarding the efficacy of POF in pulmonary sarcoidosis. In addition, gastrointestinal side-effects, at the doses used, would seem to limit the use of POF in treating pulmonary sarcoidosis. Overall, however, this trial may provide a basis for using more specific, better-tolerated, PDE inhibitors in future clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC2946799  PMID: 20560292
pentoxifylline; phosphodiesterase; sarcoidosis; steroid-sparing; pulmonary function
23.  ARA 290 Improves Symptoms in Patients with Sarcoidosis-Associated Small Nerve Fiber Loss and Increases Corneal Nerve Fiber Density 
Molecular Medicine  2013;19(1):334-345.
Small nerve fiber loss and damage (SNFLD) is a frequent complication of sarcoidosis that is associated with autonomic dysfunction and sensory abnormalities, including pain syndromes that severely degrade the quality of life. SNFLD is hypothesized to arise from the effects of immune dysregulation, an essential feature of sarcoidosis, on the peripheral and central nervous systems. Current therapy of sarcoidosis-associated SNFLD consists primarily of immune suppression and symptomatic treatment; however, this treatment is typically unsatisfactory. ARA 290 is a small peptide engineered to activate the innate repair receptor that antagonizes inflammatory processes and stimulates tissue repair. Here we show in a blinded, placebo-controlled trial that 28 d of daily subcutaneous administration of ARA 290 in a group of patients with documented SNFLD significantly improves neuropathic symptoms. In addition to improved patient-reported symptom-based outcomes, ARA 290 administration was also associated with a significant increase in corneal small nerve fiber density, changes in cutaneous temperature sensitivity, and an increased exercise capacity as assessed by the 6-minute walk test. On the basis of these results and of prior studies, ARA 290 is a potential disease-modifying agent for treatment of sarcoidosis-associated SNFLD.
PMCID: PMC3883966  PMID: 24136731
24.  Pulmonary sarcoidosis: comparison of patients at a university and a municipal hospital. 
Charts and radiographs of sarcoidosis patients seen at a private university hospital and at a municipal hospital were reviewed to determine whether there was a difference in the severity of disease retrospectively. A standardized abstract form was used to identify and abstract information on new and continuing sarcoidosis patients seen at either Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) or District of Columbia General Hospital (DCGH) during a 2-year period. Because there were too few white sarcoidosis patients for comparison, analysis was done for African-American patients only. African-American patients at GUMC were slightly older, with a higher percentage of women. For GUMC patients, 76% had private insurance and 21% had public insurance, and for DCGH patients, one-half had public insurance and 29% had no insurance. Significantly fewer GUMC patients (7% versus 36%) reported moderate to severe dyspnea. Chest radiographs showed a larger percentage of patients with stage 1 disease at GUMC and more patients with stage 4 disease at DCGH. Spirometry showed more impairment of forced expired volume in one second (FEV1) in GUMC patients, but diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO) values were significantly lower among DCGH patients. Less than 8% of GUMC patients showed disease progression compared with almost one-third of DCGH patients. These results demonstrate that substantially less severe pulmonary sarcoidosis was seen in African-American patients treated at a private, nonprofit university hospital compared with a municipal hospital. Factors that determine the use of municipal hospitals, such as limited financial access to care and sources of patients, may have played a major role in the differences seen.
PMCID: PMC2608497  PMID: 10388256
25.  Acute Posterior Multifocal Placoid Pigment Epitheliopathy as the Initial Manifestation of Sarcoidosis 
To report an undiagnosed case of systemic sarcoidosis manifesting with bilateral acute posterior multifocal placoid pigment epitheliopathy (APMPPE).
Case Report
A 26-year-old Caucasian man was referred for management of unilateral visual loss together with a paracentral scotoma developing 2 weeks after a flu-like syndrome. Clinical signs and ancillary diagnostic investigations suggested APMPPE. Laboratory tests demonstrated elevated serum angiotensin converting enzyme and lysozyme levels. Chest CT-scan disclosed moderate hilar lymph node calcifications but QuantiFERON-TB gold test was negative and bronchoalveolar lavage and biopsies were unremarkable. Accessory salivary gland biopsy disclosed epithelioid and gigantocellular granuloma formation without caseum, confirming a diagnosis of sarcoidosis. The fellow eye was involved a few days later and the patient complained of dyspnea. Echocardiography disclosed severe granulomatous myocardial infiltration and high dose corticosteroids and intravenous cyclophosphamide were initiated. Systemic treatment controlled both cardiac and ocular lesions, and was tapered accordingly.
The constellation of “white dot syndromes” and systemic symptoms necessitates a general work-up to exclude granulomatous disorders such as sarcoidosis or tuberculosis. Delayed diagnosis of cardiac sarcoidosis may have life-threatening consequences and the ophthalmologist may be the first physician to diagnose the condition.
PMCID: PMC3306121  PMID: 22454756
APMPPE; Sarcoidosis; Dyspnea; Indocyanine Green Angiography; OCT

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