Extrapulmonary sarcoidosis primarily diagnosed in the liver

Scand J Gastroenterol. 2000 Sep;35(9):1003-8. doi: 10.1080/003655200750023110.


Sarcoidosis is a relatively common, chronic, multisystem disease of unknown origin characterized by the presence of noncaseating epithelioid granulomas. Although an array of organs may be affected by the disease, the commonest site of affection is the lung. We describe a 73-year-old patient admitted to our hospital because of fatigue, weight loss, and an increased alkaline phosphatase level. In conjunction with clinical presentation, laboratory variables, and imaging analysis, a liver biopsy finally confirmed the diagnosis of a systemic sarcoidosis without affection of the lung or mediastinal lymph nodes. Treatment with ursodeoxycholic acid before diagnosis did not improve clinical symptoms and cholestasis indicators. After prednisone treatment, liver enzyme values normalized and remained normal during follow-up for 2 years after diagnosis. The literature on hepatic manifestation of sarcoidosis, its diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis is reviewed. This single case of sarcoidosis presented to the clinician almost exclusively with liver enzyme abnormalities. The consideration of sarcoidosis in such cases is of utmost importance, since the differential diagnosis of hepatic granulomas includes infectious diseases in which treatment with corticosteroids could be fatal.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biopsy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Liver Diseases / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnosis*
  • Sarcoidosis / drug therapy


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Prednisone