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Relapse of sarcoidosis upon treatment with etanercept
  1. G H Louie,
  2. P Chitkara,
  3. M M Ward
  1. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA
  1. Michael M Ward, MD, MPH, NIH/NIAMS/IRP, Building 10 CRC, Room 4-1339, 10 Center Drive, MSC 1468, Bethesda, MD 20892-1468, USA; wardm1{at}

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Tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α is thought to play a central role in promoting and perpetuating inflammation in sarcoidosis, and treatment with TNF-α inhibitors has been reported to be successful.13 We present a patient with quiescent sarcoidosis who relapsed shortly after beginning treatment with a TNF-α inhibitor for an unrelated medical condition.

A 35-year-old woman with a history of sarcoidosis, in remission while on no treatment, and ankylosing spondylitis experienced a severe flare of inflammatory back pain that was not responsive to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Treatment with etanercept 50 mg subcutaneously weekly was begun with marked symptomatic improvement in her back pain. Three weeks after starting etanercept, she developed dry cough, exertional dyspnoea, blurred vision …

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  • Funding: Supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Patient consent: Informed consent has been obtained for the publication of the details in this report.