Treatment of CNS sarcoidosis with infliximab and mycophenolate mofetil.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the effects of the anti-tumor necrosis factor neutralizing antibody, infliximab, and the antiproliferative immunosuppressant, mycophenolate mofetil, in refractory neurosarcoidosis. METHODS: We treated patients with biopsy-proven sarcoidosis and CNS involvement, who had failed treatment with steroids, with infliximab (5 mg/kg on weeks 0, 2, and 6, and then every 6-8 weeks thereafter). Six out of seven patients were co-treated with mycophenolate mofetil (1,000 mg PO BID). Patients underwent a review of symptoms and complete neurologic examination every 3 months and MRI scanning before and after 3-4 infusions of infliximab. RESULTS: All patients reported significant symptomatic improvement by the fourth infusion of infliximab, including relief of headache and neuropathic pain, reversal of motor, sensory, or coordination deficits, and control of seizure activity. Furthermore, infliximab therapy was universally associated with a decrease in lesion size or suppression of gadolinium enhancement as documented by MRI. A positive treatment response was attained irrespective of location or distribution of CNS involvement by sarcoidosis (dural/leptomeningeal based vs intraparenchymal; cord vs brain; single lesion vs multifocal). There were no serious adverse effects in a follow-up period spanning 6-18 months. CONCLUSIONS: Combination treatment with mycophenolate mofetil and infliximab is a promising therapeutic approach for neurosarcoidosis.
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