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Recurrence of sarcoidosis



my husband wasdiagnosed with systemic sarcoidosis 2 1/2 years ago and treated with prednisolone which he eventually came off last year and now blood tests and x-rays have revealed inflammation again, he also has peripheral neuropathy and has been unable to walk for the last 2 1/2 years what kind of lifespan does this afford him, he is in his mid fifties?


Dear Madam-

It is not unusual for sarcoidosis to reactivate after it is initially placed into "remission" by treatments, such as corticosteroids, like prednisolone. Long-term treatment with corticosteroids can cause neuropathy, as can sarcoidosis. You would have to consult with your husband's physicians to know what the cause of the neuropathy is. Those who require long-term treatment often benefit from a combination of drugs. In order to reduce the side effects associated with long-term corticosteroid treatment, doctors who treat patients with sarcoidosis often add a second, "steroid sparing", treatment.

It sounds like your husband was doing well enough at one point to take him off of treatment altogether. This means his disease does respond to treatment. Therefore, his lifespan may not be altered by this disease. On the other hand, he could suffer some disability depending on what damage has been done to his nervous system and other organs. Again, it is important to have this dialogue with his doctors.


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Response by:

Elliott D Crouser, MD Elliott D Crouser, MD
Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University