Infliximab for chronic cutaneous sarcoidosis: a subset analysis from a double-blind randomized clinical trial

Sarcoidosis Vasc Diffuse Lung Dis. 2016 Jan 15;32(4):289-95.


Background: Limited evidence exists demonstrating an effective treatment for chronic cutaneous sarcoidosis.

Objective: To determine infliximab's effectiveness in sarcoidosis.

Methods: We conducted a subset analysis from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial for chronic pulmonary sarcoidosis to determine infliximab's effectiveness. Patients with chronic cutaneous sarcoidosis received infliximab (3 or 5 mg/kg) or placebo over 24 weeks. Of 138 patients, the subset analysis evaluated 17 patients with chronic facial and another 9 patients with nonfacial skin involvement. The SASI evaluated lesions for degree of erythema, desquamation, induration, and percentage of area involved. Facial and nonfacial lesions were scored in a blinded manner.

Results: Among 5 placebo-treated and 12 infliximab-treated patients, an improvement was observed with infliximab versus placebo in change from baseline to weeks 12 and 24 in desquamation (P<0.005) and induration (P<0.01) at week 24. Erythema, percentage of area involved and the evaluation of paired photographs did not reveal significant differences.

Limitations: Sample size; more extensive disease in placebo patients; chronic therapy upon enrollment; lung as primary organ of sarcoidosis involvement; limited investigator experience with SASI.

Conclusions: Infliximab appears to be a beneficial treatment for chronic cutaneous sarcoidosis. The SASI scoring system demonstrated significant improvement versus placebo in lesion desquamation and induration.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infliximab / adverse effects
  • Infliximab / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Remission Induction
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnosis
  • Sarcoidosis / drug therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Infliximab