The puzzling clinical spectrum and course of juvenile sarcoidosis

Review Article

Abstract

Background

Juvenile sarcoidosis is a rare, chronic, multisystem, granulomatous disease of obscure etiology which is seen in childhood and adulthood. The disease in childhood has a course different from that in adulthood.

Data sources

PubMed database was searched using terms sarcoidosis, children or childhood sarcoidosis or juvenile sarcoidosis in combination with one of the following terms: epidemiology, clinical manifestations, genetics, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. We also retrieved the terms such as early onset sarcoidosis and Blau syndrome. Furthermore, e-medicine and European Respiratory Society monographs for sarcoidosis were reviewed.

Results

Sarcoidosis in childhood presents with two age dependent, distinct forms. In younger children it is clinically evident before the age of four years and characterized by the triad of rash, arthritis and uveitis. In their older counterparts, the juvenile late onset sarcoidosis involves several organs and its clinical appearance resembles the adult type of the disease, with the respiratory system being most frequently affected (hilar lymphadenopathy, pulmonary infiltrations). Steroid is the main agent of treatment whereas methotrexate is also used for beneficial steroid sparing effects. New, novel therapies may change the outcome of the disease especially in difficult morbid cases.

Conclusions

Sarcoidosis in childhood is recognized as a systemic disease affecting various organs and having diverse clinical course depending on the age of onset.

Key words

corticosteroids early onset sarcoidosis juvenile sarcoidosis late onset sarcoidosis methotrexate 

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Copyright information

© Children's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Fretzayas
    • 1
    • 3
  • Maria Moustaki
    • 1
  • Olga Vougiouka
    • 2
  1. 1.Third Department of PediatricsUniversity of Athens, School of Medicine “Attikon” University HospitalAthensGreece
  2. 2.Second Department of PediatricsUniversity of Athens, School of Medicine, “P & A Kyriakou” Children’s HospitalAthensGreece
  3. 3.Third Department of Pediatrics, “Attikon” University HospitalAthens University School of MedicineAthensGreece

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