Outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis: A multicenter retrospective research network study

Respir Med. 2021 Oct;187:106538. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2021.106538. Epub 2021 Jul 22.


Background: Analyses of COVID-19 infection outcomes in patients with preexisting pulmonary sarcoidosis are lacking and are limited to case reports or small case series with the largest study reporting outcomes of 37 patients.

Research question: Retrospective cohort study to assess clinical outcomes of 945 patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis, presenting with COVID 19, compared to a propensity matched cohort of patients without sarcoidosis.

Study design and methods: Analysis of a multi-center research network TriNETX was performed including patients more than 16 years of age diagnosed with COVID-19. Outcomes in COVID-19 positive patients with concurrent pulmonary sarcoidosis were compared with a propensity score matched cohort of patients without pulmonary sarcoidosis.

Results: A total of 278,271 patients with COVID-19 on the research network were identified, 954 patients (0.34 %) carried a diagnosis of pulmonary sarcoidosis. Mean age of patients with sarcoidosis was 56.3 ± 13.2 years, with female predominance (n = 619, 64.89 %). 49.69 % of the participants were African American (n = 474). Co-morbidities including hypertension, chronic lower respiratory diseases, diabetes mellitus, ischemic heart disease, nicotine dependence, and chronic kidney disease were more common in patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis when compared to the non-pulmonary sarcoidosis cohort (all p values < 0.01). In unmatched analysis, pulmonary sarcoidosis group had higher mortality, increased risk for hospitalization, intubation and need for renal replacement therapy. After propensity score matching, no difference in any of the outcome measures was observed.

Interpretation: Crude COVID-19 mortality and other clinical outcome measures are poor in pulmonary sarcoidosis cohort; however, propensity-matched analyses revealed no difference in outcomes, showing that higher mortality is driven by higher burden of comorbidities.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; Interstitial lung disease; SARS-CoV-2; Sarcoidosis.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • COVID-19 / complications*
  • COVID-19 / mortality*
  • COVID-19 / therapy
  • Critical Care
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Propensity Score
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / complications*
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / mortality*
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / therapy
  • Survival Rate