Lupus pernio in sarcoidosis: clinical features and treatment outcomes of 14 patients

J Clin Rheumatol. 2003 Apr;9(2):72-6. doi: 10.1097/01.RHU.0000062509.01658.d1.


Lupus pernio (LP) is the most characteristic skin lesion of sarcoidosis. In this study, we retrospectively evaluated the clinical features of sarcoidosis patients with diagnosed LP at our center. Of 516 sarcoidosis patients diagnosed within a 36-year period, 14 (2.7%) had skin lesions that were clinically and histologically diagnosed as LP. Thirteen of our LP patients were females, and one was a male (mean age: 46.3, range: 24-67). In 2 sarcoidosis patients, the initial presentation of the disease was LP. When the LP patients were compared with other sarcoidosis patients, there were more females, and the frequency of extrapulmonary involvement and the number of patients with advanced stage disease were higher (P <0.001). Oral and/or intralesional steroid therapy was the preferred treatment modality in all our patients and led to either recovery or regression in most patients with LP. As our study was an uncontrolled, retrospective one with few patients, it is difficult to say whether steroids are effective. LP runs a chronic course and spontaneous remission of lesions of more than 2 years' duration is quite rare. Because of the unwanted side effects of steroids, the efficacy of new treatment modalities should be tested especially in sarcoidosis patients with only skin involvement.