Therapeutic approach of hepatic sarcoidosis.

J.P. Cremers, M. Drent*, R.P. Baughman, P.A.H.M. Wijnen, G.H. Koek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Surveillance of hepatic involvement in sarcoidosis has not been standardized. Therefore, management of hepatic involvement is a clinical challenge. This review analyses published data on the pharmacological treatment of hepatic sarcoidosis. RECENT FINDINGS: Only 5-30% of patients with hepatic sarcoidosis display symptoms. Occasionally, it has a rapid progressive course with serious complications, stressing an appropriate and carefully timed therapeutic approach. Because symptomatic hepatic sarcoidosis is uncommon, therapeutic studies are scarce. Answers to the questions when to initiate which treatment are lacking. Case reports describe beneficial effects of prednisone and the augmentation of cytotoxic and anti-tumor necrotic factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) therapy. However, because of small sample sizes, no meaningful conclusions could be drawn. In symptomatic hepatic sarcoidosis patients, it is recommended to start to treat the sarcoidosis with prednisone, preceded by ursodeoxycholic acid when signs of cholestasis are present. In refractory cases or when prednisone weaning is impossible, cytotoxic drugs or anti-TNF-alpha therapy should be considered. SUMMARY: This review illustrates the importance of an appropriate therapeutic approach of sarcoidosis patients with hepatic involvement. It emphasizes the need for future studies to evaluate treatment options to avoid disease progression and hepatic complications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-482
JournalCurrent Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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