Purpose: The dose of repository corticotropin (RCI) and need for a loading dose in sarcoidosis patients receiving chronic corticosteroids are unclear. We performed a single-blind prospective study, comparing two doses of RCI in sarcoidosis.
Methods: Chronic pulmonary sarcoidosis patients receiving prednisone therapy with deterioration by 5% in FVC in the previous year were studied. RCI was administered subcutaneously at a loading dose of 80 units RCI for 10 days. Patients were randomized at day 14 to receive either 40- or 80-unit RCI twice a week. The dose of prednisone was modified by the clinician who was blinded to the patient's dosage of RCI.
Results: Sixteen patients completed the full 24 weeks of the study. At week 24, there was a decrease in the dose of prednisone, and improvements in DLCO, King's Sarcoidosis Questionnaire health status and fatigue score. There was no significant change in FVC % predicted. For the PET scan, there was a significant fall in the standard uptake value (SUV) of the lung lesions. Only 3/8 patients remained on 80 units RCI for full 24 weeks. There was no significant difference in the response to therapy for those treated with 40- versus 80-unit RCI.
Conclusions: Repository corticotropin treatment was prednisone-sparing and associated with significant improvement in DLCO, PET scan, and patient-reported outcome measures. A dose of 40-unit RCI twice a week was as effective as 80-unit RCI and was better tolerated.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02188017.
Keywords: Acthar gel; PET scan; Quality of life; Repository corticotrophin; Sarcoidosis.