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Indications for treatment of sarcoidosis

Nunes, Hilarioa,b; Jeny, Florencea,b; Bouvry, Dianea,b; Uzunhan, Yurdagüla,b; Valeyre, Dominiquea,b

Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine: September 2019 - Volume 25 - Issue 5 - p 505–518
doi: 10.1097/MCP.0000000000000604
SARCOIDOSIS: Edited by Jan C. Grutters and Marc A. Judson

Purpose of review To describe the current knowledge on indications for sarcoidosis treatment.

Recent findings Despite the lack of evidence-based recommendations, the sarcoidosis community has adopted the concept of starting systemic anti-inflammatory treatment because of potential danger (risk of severe dysfunction on major organs or death) or unacceptable impaired quality of life (QoL). On the contrary, while QoL and functionality are patients’ priorities, few studies have evaluated treatment effect on patient-reported outcomes. The awareness of long-term corticosteroids toxicities and consequences on QoL and the emergence of novel drugs have changed therapeutic management. Second-line therapy, mainly methotrexate and azathioprine, are indicated for corticosteroids sparing or corticosteroids-resistant sarcoidosis. TNF-α inhibitors are a useful third-line therapy in chronic refractory disease. In addition to organ-targeted treatment, efforts should also be taken for treating nonorgan-specific symptoms, such as physical training for fatigue, and various disease complications.

Summary Clinicians should offer a tailored treatment for each patient and ensure a holistic multidisciplinary approach, including pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions. Patient-centered communication is critical to drive shared decisions, in particular for the tricky situation of isolated impaired QoL as the unique therapeutic indication. Once treatment is decided, clinicians should define a clear therapeutic plan, including goals and instruments to assess response.

aService de Pneumologie, Hôpital Avicenne, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris

bInserm UMR U1272, Université Paris 13, Paris, France

Correspondence to Hilario Nunes, MD, PhD, Service de Pneumologie, Hôpital Avicenne, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris, 125 route de Stalingrad, Bobigny, Paris 93009, France. Tel: +33 1 48 95 51 21; fax: +33 1 48 95 51 26; e-mail:

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