Pulmonology meets rheumatology in sarcoidosis: a review on the therapeutic approach.

Marjolein Drent, Anne Cremers, Tim Jansen. Current Opinion in Rheumatology

Sarcoidosis is a systemic disease characterized by the formation of granulomas in various organs. The pathogenesis of sarcoidosis is not fully elucidated. An exaggerated granulomatous reaction after exposure to unidentified antigens in genetically susceptible individuals evokes a clinical situation which we call sarcoidosis. Between 20 and 70% of patients need systemic therapy. No firm guidelines exist on whether, when, and how treatment should be started. Treatment is dependent on the presentation and the distribution, extensiveness and severity of sarcoidosis. Treatment of Löfgren’s triad-related symptoms starts with NSAIDs; in other more extensive manifestations of sarcoidosis, the initiating dosage of glucocorticosteroids is approximately 20 mg daily. In terms of evidence-based treatment for sarcoidosis, only a few randomized controlled trials have been done. Identified associations of certain polymorphisms with severity of the disease and treatment response suggest future research questions as well as finding the cause(s) of sarcoidosis, and the elucidation of relevant biomarkers and new efficient treatments. The increased awareness of long-term side-effects of glucocorticosteroids and the emergence of new drugs have changed the treatment of sarcoidosis.


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