Rheumatologic Manifestations of Sarcoidosis

Nadera J. Sweiss, M.D.; Karen Patterson, M.D.; Ray Sawaqed, M.D.; Umair Jabbar; Peter Korsten, M.D.; Kyle Hogarth, M.D.; Robert Wollman, M.D.; Joe G.N. Garcia, M.D.; Timothy B. Niewold, M.D.; Robert P. Baughman, M.D.


Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2010;31(4):463-473. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Sarcoidosis is a systemic, clinically heterogeneous disease characterized by the development of granulomas. Any organ system can be involved, and patients may present with any number of rheumatologic symptoms. There are no U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved therapies for the treatment of sarcoidosis. Diagnosing sarcoidosis becomes challenging, particularly when its complications cause patients' symptoms to mimic other conditions, including polymyositis, Sjögren syndrome, or vasculitis. This review presents an overview of the etiology of and biomarkers associated with sarcoidosis. We then provide a detailed description of the rheumatologic manifestations of sarcoidosis and present a treatment algorithm based on current clinical evidence for patients with sarcoid arthritis. The discussion will focus on characteristic findings in patients with sarcoid arthritis, osseous involvement in sarcoidosis, and sarcoid myopathy. Arthritic conditions that sometimes coexist with sarcoidosis are described as well. We present two cases of sarcoidosis with rheumatologic manifestations. Our intent is to encourage a multidisciplinary, translational approach to meet the challenges and difficulties in understanding and treating sarcoidosis.


Sarcoidosis is a multisystem disease of unknown etiology. Patients with sarcoidosis may develop extrapulmonary organ involvement, including rheumatologic complications. Here we will briefly review the etiology of sarcoidosis and then describe the presentations of and diagnostic findings in various rheumatologic manifestations of sarcoidosis. To highlight some of the rheumatologic complications of sarcoidosis, we also present one case of peripheral sarcoid arthritis and one case with axial sarcoid involvement. We then propose an approach for the management of patients with sarcoid arthritis in particular, an approach that borrows on the effective strategies employed for rheumatoid arthritis.


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