Background: Most issues concerning pharmacotherapy of pulmonary sarcoidosis have not been resolved in clinical trials. The objective was to survey sarcoidosis experts concerning the treatment of pulmonary sarcoidosis and attempt to reach a consensus by these experts using a Delphi method.
Methods: A 6-item questionnaire was developed. Experts were identified at the Diffuse Lung Disease Network at the annual CHEST meeting in October 2008. Three rounds of questionnaires were presented to the experts. Respondent feedback and supporting literature was incorporated into the questionnaires of subsequent rounds.
Results: Experts reached a consensus concerning the following issues: (a) corticosteroids are the initial therapy of choice; (b) initial use of inhaled corticosteroids are not recommended; (c) methotrexate was the preferred second-line drug; (d) 40mg of daily prednisone equivalent was the maximum dose recommended for the treatment of acute pulmonary sarcoidosis; (e) tapering to 10mg of daily prednisone equivalent for chronic pulmonary sarcoidosis was considered a successful taper. The experts could not resolve the following issues: (a) the initial corticosteroid dose for the treatment of acute pulmonary sarcoidosis; (b) the decision and timing of corticosteroid therapy in a patient with mild, Stage 2 pulmonary sarcoidosis.
Conclusions: This Delphi study revealed that sarcoidosis experts reached a consensus concerning several aspects of the treatment of pulmonary sarcoidosis; these could be considered as appropriate approaches to therapy. Other issues concerning the therapy of pulmonary sarcoidosis remain unresolved by experts, and are areas where further clinical research could be directed.