Many Patients with Sarcoidosis Also Have Sarcoid Arthritis

Many Patients with Sarcoidosis Also Have Sarcoid Arthritis

A new study investigating the frequency and characteristics of sarcoid arthropathy, in which sarcoidosis is accompanied by joint disease, revealed that a majority of patients with sarcoidosis also have sarcoid arthritis.

The study “The clinical characteristics of sarcoid arthropathy based on a prospective cohort study” was published in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease.

The cause of sarcoidosis is unknown, but it involves abnormal activation of the immune system causing granulomas to form (granulomas are groups of white blood cells called macrophages in tissues), which can affect different parts of the body, causing a range of symptoms in different patients. Sarcoid arthritis (arthritis is a painful inflammation of the joints) occurs in some cases of sarcoidosis.

Sarcoidosis usually is more severe in the African-American population in the U.S. than in the white population, and also is more frequent (35.5 versus 10.9 per 100,000 people).

The study included 114 patients (36 male) with sarcoidosis; 106 of these patients had joint pain. Sarcoid arthritis was diagnosed in 71 of the patients, mainly with involvement of two to four joints (oligoarthritis). Eleven patients also had other rheumatic diseases (diseases affecting the joints or connective tissue).

In the majority of the patients (78.9%), arthritis was gone within six weeks. Most of the patients were treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or oral steroid-based drugs, for a short period. Arthritis lasting more than six weeks was reported in 24 (21.1%) of the patients.

“Acute sarcoid arthritis was seen in 71 (62.3%) patients, while chronic arthritis occurred in 24 (21.1%) patients. Oligoarthritis was the most common pattern of joint involvement, and bilateral ankle arthritis was the prominent feature. The prognosis of sarcoid arthropathy was generally favorable, as the arthritis resolved within six weeks in the majority of patients,” the authors wrote.

Arthritis occurred more often in females. It also occurred more often in patients with erythema nodosum, another condition seen in 53 of the patients that involves red lumps on the lower legs.

“Inflammatory arthritis occurs in a majority of patients with sarcoidosis. Acute arthritis with bilateral ankle involvement is the most common pattern of sarcoid arthropathy. Sarcoidosis can mimic many primary rheumatic diseases or may coexist with them.” the team concluded, adding that a diagnosis of sarcoid arthropathy should be considered when sarcoidosis patients have complaints concerning their musculoskeletal system.


  1. DJ says:

    I have been reading about the sarcoidosis I have for over 10 years now, and this is the first time I heard about “Sarcoid arthropathy or Sarcoid Arthritis”.

    • KIM says:

      You and me both. And I’m having these promblems and no one seems to know what the issue is. I’m taking this to Dr.

    • Naomi Gius says:

      I have it in my hands, knees hips and ankles. If I do simple housework, the next day all.of my joints are inflamed.

    • Hazel says:

      Me too. I have skin sarc,and recurring uveitis. Erythema nodosum I can get anywhere on my body now, I have pinpointed certain types of bacterial infection trigger this response. Streptococcus in particular and dental infections. This is interesting as I am currently having issues with my knee and may investigate further sarcoidosis arthritis with my rheumatologist.

  2. Barbara says:

    Is there a certain blood test for this sarcoid arthropathy? I have sarcoidosis and I actually get waves of pain going from base of my neck to my spine that sometimes puts me to my knees. Plus ankle, elbow, knee a ndwrist and hip pain.

  3. Joy Beaty says:

    I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in about 1995. I developed an eye problem uncommon for a women my age (45). The doctors had pulmonary test done as part of a full check up and found sarcoidosis. the eye was treated and things were fine for years. in 2000 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and again they told me I have sarcoidosis. In 2001 I started having feet and ankle and joint pain.I figured it was arthritis. I treated it as arthritis. I have had it since then. I am now 67 is there anything I can do that will help more than advil.
    Thank you
    Joy Beaty

  4. Stephanie Thompson says:

    This is the type of sarcoidosis that I have been suffering from. Which has been a little different than what I have read or heard about. So I am glad to know own that I’m not alone in this and can hopefully get some help. Even though I seen others with other more severe symptoms than what I have been through thus far.

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