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      Current and emerging pharmacological treatments for sarcoidosis: a review

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          The treatment of sarcoidosis is not standardized. Because sarcoidosis may never cause significant symptoms or organ dysfunction, treatment is not mandatory. When treatment is indicated, oral corticosteroids are usually recommended because they are highly likely to be effective in a relative short period of time. However, because sarcoidosis is often a chronic condition, long-term treatment with corticosteroids may cause significant toxicity. Therefore, corticosteroid sparing agents are often indicated in patients requiring chronic therapy. This review outlines the indications for treatment, corticosteroid treatment, and corticosteroid sparing treatments for sarcoidosis.

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          Most cited references 92

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          ATS/ERS/WASOG statement on sarcoidosis. American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society/World Association of Sarcoidosis and other Granulomatous Disorders.

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            A concise review of pulmonary sarcoidosis.

            This is an update on sarcoidosis, focusing on etiology, diagnosis, and treatment. In the area of etiopathogenesis, we now have a better understanding of the immune response that leads to the disease as well as genetic factors that modify both the risk for the disease and its clinical outcome. Several groups have also identified possible agents as a cause for sarcoidosis. Although none of these potential causes has been definitely confirmed, there is increasing evidence to support that one or more infectious agents may cause sarcoidosis, although this organism may no longer be viable in the patient. The diagnosis of sarcoidosis has been significantly aided by new technology. This includes the endobronchial ultrasound, which has been shown to increase the yield of needle aspiration of mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes. The positive emission tomography scan has proven useful for selecting possible biopsy sites by identifying organ involvement not appreciated by routine methodology. It has also helped in assessing cardiac involvement. The biologic agents, such as the anti-tumor necrosis factor antibodies, have changed the approach to refractory sarcoidosis. There is increasing evidence that the clinician can identify which patient is most likely to benefit from such therapy. As new and more potent antiinflammatory agents have been developed, it is clear that there are other factors that burden the patient with sarcoidosis, including fatigue and sarcoidosis-associated pulmonary hypertension. There have been several recent studies demonstrating treatment options for these problems.
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              Prognostic determinants of long-term survival in Japanese patients with cardiac sarcoidosis treated with prednisone.

              Cardiac involvement is an important prognostic factor in sarcoidosis, but reliable indicators of mortality risk in cardiac sarcoidosis are unstudied in a large number of patients. To determine the significant predictors of mortality and to assess the efficacy of corticosteroids, we analyzed clinical findings, treatment, and prognosis in 95 Japanese patients with cardiac sarcoidosis. Twenty of these 95 patients had cardiac sarcoidosis proven by autopsy; none of these patients had received corticosteroids. We assessed 12 clinical variables as possible predictors of mortality by Cox proportional hazards model in 75 steroid-treated patients. During the mean follow-up of 68 months, 29 patients (73%) died of congestive heart failure and 11 (27%) experienced sudden death. Kaplan-Meier survival curves showed 5-year survival rates of 75% in the steroid-treated patients and of 89% in patients with a left ventricular ejection fraction > or = 50%, whereas there was only 10% 5-year survival rate in autopsy subjects. There was no significant difference in survival curves of patients treated with a high initial dose (> 30 mg) and a low initial dose (> or = 30 mg) of prednisone. Multivariate analysis identified New York Heart Association functional class (hazard ratio 7.72 per class I increase, p = 0.0008), left ventricular end-diastolic diameter (hazard ratio 2.60/10 mm increase, p = 0.02), and sustained ventricular tachycardia (hazard ratio 7.20, p = 0.03) as independent predictors of mortality. In conclusion, the severity of heart failure was one of the most significant independent predictors of mortality for cardiac sarcoidosis. Starting corticosteroids before the occurrence of systolic dysfunction resulted in an excellent clinical outcome. A high initial dose of prednisone may not be essential for treatment of cardiac sarcoidosis.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                12 April 2013
                : 7
                : 325-338
                [1 ]Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, USA
                [2 ]Department of Medicine, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Marc A Judson, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Albany Medical College, MC-91, 47 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208, USA Tel +1 518 262 0864 Fax +1 518 262 6472 Email judsonm@ 123456mail.amc.edu
                © 2013 Beegle et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.



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