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December 1976

The Infectious Complications of Sarcoidosis: A Current Perspective

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, the Mason Clinic, Seattle.

Arch Intern Med. 1976;136(12):1356-1362. doi:10.1001/archinte.1976.03630120008006

The incidence of infections requiring hospitalization was determined in 122 patients with sarcoidosis. The group was remarkably free of infection except for three patients with Aspergillus mycetoma occurring in areas of long-standing parenchymal involvement with cystic degeneration. There was a single instance of complicating pulmonary tuberculosis, and the only extrathoracic infection was a single instance of disseminated herpes zoster. This study confirms that aspergillosis, not tuberculosis, is currently the most common infectious complication of sarcoidosis.

Although previous case reports have suggested an increased incidence of invasive fungal infection in patients with sarcoidosis, there is little to support this concept. None of the patients in the present study group developed these fungal infections during a mean 7.2-year follow-up. The clinical presentation of many of the previously reported cases suggests that the entire course of the granulomatous illness was infectious in nature rather than sarcoidosis with complicating infection.

(Arch Intern Med 136:1356-1362, 1976)

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