Sarcoidosis is an antigen-mediated disease of unknown aetiology, characterized by the presence of non-caseating epithelioid cell granulomas in multiple organs. Cutaneous involvement in sarcoidosis is classified as specific, when biopsy reveals non-caseating granulomas, and non-specific, typically erythema nodosum. Granulomatous skin lesions occur in 9% to 37% of patients. The skin is the second most commonly involved organ after the lung. A skin biopsy is easy to perform and enables an early diagnosis with a minor invasive procedure. Some types of specific lesions have prognostic significance and may help to predict the outcome of the systemic disease. Maculopapules, subcutaneous nodules and scar sarcoidosis are usually transient or tend to follow the course of the systemic disease. Skin plaques and lupus pernio are associated with chronic sarcoidosis. Although most cutaneous lesions of sarcoidosis do not cause significant morbidity and do not require treatment, some have cosmetic importance because they may be disfiguring and can have a strong psychosocial impact. Treatment of these lesions is a challenge since they do not respond well to conventional treatments. This manuscript reviews the clinical characteristics of the more frequent types of specific cutaneous lesions of sarcoidosis, the relationship between cutaneous involvement and systemic disease, the prognostic significance of lesions and the present state of treatment of difficult cases of cutaneous sarcoidosis.
Sarcoidosis, vasculitis, and diffuse lung diseases: official journal of WASOG / World Association of Sarcoidosis and Other Granulomatous Disorders 01/2013; 30(4):268-81. · 1.74 Impact Factor
European Journal of Internal Medicine 10/2011; 22. DOI:10.1016/S0953-6205(11)60328-2 · 2.30 Impact Factor
Specific (granulomatous) cutaneous lesions are seen in 9-37% of cases of systemic sarcoidosis, and are usually classified into maculopapules, plaques, lupus pernio (LP), scar sarcoidosis, and subcutaneous sarcoidosis. Their prognostic significance has not been fully established.
To analyse the relationship between the clinical type of granulomatous cutaneous lesions and the systemic features and prognosis of systemic sarcoidosis.
The clinical charts of 86 patients (19 men, 67 women, mean age 46.82 years) with systemic sarcoidosis and granulomatous cutaneous involvement followed up for > 2 years at Bellvitge University Hospital were reviewed.
Cutaneous lesions developed before or at the time of diagnosis of systemic sarcoidosis in 80.23% of patients. The main cutaneous lesions were classified as maculopapules (28 patients), plaques (31), LP (6), scar sarcoidosis (7) and subcutaneous sarcoidosis (14). Erythema nodosum (EN) was seen in 30 patients. Radiological stage was 0 for 8 patients, I for 48, II for 24, III for 5 and IV for 1. Systemic sarcoidosis activity persisted for > 2 years in 47 patients, and 42 received systemic corticosteroid treatment for their disease. Maculopapular and subcutaneous sarcoidosis were mainly seen in patients with EN and radiological stage I. Plaques and LP were associated with chronic disease and requirement for systemic corticosteroids.
Cutaneous granulomatous lesions are usually present at the diagnosis of systemic sarcoidosis, and the type of cutaneous involvement may have prognostic significance.
Clinical and Experimental Dermatology 07/2011; 36(7):739-44. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2230.2011.04128.x · 1.23 Impact Factor