Clinical features and diagnostic evaluation of biopsy-proven ocular sarcoidosis

Arch Ophthalmol. 2011 Apr;129(4):409-13. doi: 10.1001/archophthalmol.2011.52.


Objectives: To compare the clinical characteristics of uveitic sarcoidosis in African American and non-African American patients with biopsy-proven sarcoidosis and to determine which diagnostic test results were most often suggestive of sarcoidosis in patients who were ultimately diagnosed as having the disease.

Method: Retrospective review of consecutive patients with biopsy-proven sarcoidosis evaluated by the uveitis service between 1989 and 2009.

Results: A total of 63 patients with uveitic sarcoidosis were identified: 39 (62%) were African American (P <.001) and 43 (68%) were female. African American patients presented at an earlier age (P <.001) and were more likely to have granulomatous anterior segment inflammation (P <.001). The levels of serum markers angiotensin-converting enzyme and lysozyme were elevated in 40% and 42% of patients tested, respectively. The levels of at least 1 marker were elevated in 18 patients (58%). Imaging study results were reported as consistent with sarcoidosis in 25 patients (69%) who underwent chest radiography and in 19 patients (100%) who underwent computed tomography.

Conclusions: In this series, African American patients were more likely to be diagnosed as having uveitic sarcoidosis and to present with uveitis if they were younger than 50 years. White patients were more likely to present when they were older than 50 years. A clinical picture that included granulomatous anterior segment inflammation was more common in African American patients. The use of serum markers (angiotensin-converting enzyme and lysozyme) positively identified more patients with biopsy-proven sarcoidosis when used in combination with appropriate chest imaging.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / ethnology
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Chest X-Ray
  • Middle Aged
  • Muramidase / blood
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / blood
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnosis*
  • Sarcoidosis / ethnology
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis
  • Uveitis / diagnosis*
  • Uveitis / ethnology
  • Visual Acuity
  • Whites / ethnology
  • Young Adult


  • Muramidase
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A