Background: In view of the diminished number of CD4+ lymphocytes, the co-existence of an HIV infection and sarcoidosis seems paradoxical. Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) may be observed in response to anti-retroviral therapy (ART). According to the conventional definition, this is caused by an overwhelming immune response to an already present or to a new agent.
Case description: We describe the case of a 47-year-old HIV-positive patient, who presented with an exacerbation of his sarcoidosis nine months after initiation of ART. Based on the time course and the dynamics of the CD4+ lymphocyte count, this presentation of disease can be placed in the context of IRIS.
Conclusion: The presentation or exacerbation of sarcoidosis after initiation of antiretroviral therapy in HIV-positive patients with a low CD4+ count at start of therapy can be placed in the context of IRIS.