Efficacy of infliximab in extrapulmonary sarcoidosis: results from a randomised trial

Eur Respir J. 2008 Jun;31(6):1189-96. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00051907. Epub 2008 Feb 6.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the efficacy of infliximab for the treatment of extrapulmonary sarcoidosis. A prospective, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted, with infliximab at 3 and 5 mg x kg(-1) body weight administered over 24 weeks. Extrapulmonary organ severity was determined by a novel severity tool (extrapulmonary physician organ severity tool; ePOST) with an adjustment for the number of organs involved (ePOSTadj). In total, 138 patients enrolled in the trial of infliximab versus placebo for the treatment of chronic corticosteroid-dependent pulmonary sarcoidosis. The baseline severity of extrapulmonary organ involvement, as measured by ePOST, was similar across treatment groups. After 24 weeks of drug-therapy study, the change from baseline to week 24 in ePOST was greater for the combined infliximab group compared with the placebo group. After adjustment for the number of extrapulmonary organs involved, the improvement in ePOSTadj observed in the combined infliximab group was also greater than that observed in placebo-treated patients, after 24 weeks of therapy. The improvements in ePOST and ePOSTadj were not maintained during a subsequent 24-week washout period. Infliximab may be beneficial compared with placebo in the treatment of extrapulmonary sarcoidosis in patients already receiving corticosteroids, as assessed by the severity tool described in the present study.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infliximab
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sarcoidosis / drug therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Infliximab