Sarcoidosis in elderly Tunisian patients: about 16 cases Elderly-onset sarcoidosis in Tunisia

Main Article Content

Donia Chebbi
Sameh Marzouk
Mouna Snoussi
Moez Jallouli
Nawrez Gouiaa
Tahia Boudawara
Zouhir Bahloul

Keywords

sarcoidosis, Elderly subjects, Uveitis, Interstitial lung disease

Abstract

Background: Sarcoidosis is a systemic granulomatous disease of unknown etiology. It affects mostly young adults. In the elderly, the presentation of this disease is different, often posing positive diagnosis problems.Objectives: We intend to describe the various clinical features and the management of sarcoidosis in elderly patients (age ≥65 years) compared to the younger ones.Methods: We performed a retrospective, descriptive and comparative study in the Department of Internal Medicine in the University Hospital Hedi Chaker, Sfax, Tunisia, between 1996 and 2016.


Results: From a series of 80 patients, we found sixteen patients (20%) with sarcoidosis diagnosed after the age of 65 years. A female preponderance (81,25%) was noted.


Intrathoracic involvement concerned 13 patients (81,3%). Extrapulmonary signs were also frequent (93,8%). The main extrathoracic manifestations were ganglionar involvement (75%), an alteration of the general health (31,3%), hepatic involvement (31,3%), cutaneous involvement (25%) and ocular involvement (25%). Biological manifestations were hypercalcemia, hypercalciuria, lymphopenia and hypergammaglobulinemia noted in respectively 12,5%, 12,5%, 31,3% and 50% of the cases. Angiotensin-converting enzyme level was elevated in 100% of the patients. The tuberculin skin test result was negative in all patients. Lymphadenopathy and cutaneous biopsies were important contributing factors to diagnosis (respectively: 100% and 75% were positive). Oral corticosteroid therapy was required in 50% of cases. Evolution was marked by pulmonary fibrosis in two cases. Satisfactory course of the disease was observed in the other patients.


Conclusion: sarcoidosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of elderly patients presenting with pulmonary or multisystem disease.

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