Clinical characteristics, pulmonary function abnormalities and outcome of prednisolone treatment in 106 patients with sarcoidosis

J Assoc Physicians India. 2001 Jul;49:697-704.


The clinical profile of one hundred and six biopsy proved patients with sarcoidosis is reported from New Delhi. The disease occurred more frequently in males (68 of the 106; 64%) in their fifth decade. Dry cough (83%), exertional dyspnoea (61%), fever (56%) and joint pains (44%) were frequent symptoms. Hepatomegaly (45%), peripheral lymphadenopathy (45%), cutaneous involvement (42%), presence of crepitations (36%) were frequent signs. In addition, ocular symptoms (18%), parotid gland enlargement (12%), facial nerve palsy (8%) were observed. Audible wheeze was present in nine patients. Radiologically, 25 (24%), 67 (63%) and 14 (13%) of patients belonged to stage I, II and III respectively at presentation. More than one sibling was involved in six families. Pulmonary functions revealed mixed obstructive and restrictive ventilatory defect. However, obstructive ventilatory defect was predominant. Systemic steroids were used in 81 patients who regularly followed up. Frequent relapses occurred on tapering off or stopping the corticosteroids in 21 patients. History of malaise (p < 0.05), presence of crepitations (p < 0.05), wheezing (p < 0.05), peripheral blood eosinophilia (p < 0.05) and FEV1/FVC (%) < 65% of the predicted value (p < 0.05), were independent predictors of relapse. Hyperuricaemia, hitherto unreported in patients with sarcoidosis was observed in 41% of patients for whom values were available. Two patients died; one from cardiomyopathy and another from stroke. In summary, constitutional symptoms such as fever, weight loss and pulmonary infiltrates, were more frequently encountered in Indian patients with sarcoidosis as compared to western studies. A high index of clinical suspicion and histopathological confirmation early in the illness are required to ascertain the diagnosis lest these patients will get treated as tuberculosis with potentially hepatotoxic drugs.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Mechanics*
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnosis*
  • Sarcoidosis / drug therapy
  • Sarcoidosis / physiopathology


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Prednisolone