Thalidomide for acute treatment of neurosarcoidosis

E R Hammond, A I Kaplin, D A Kerr
Spinal Cord 2007, 45 (12): 802-3

STUDY DESIGN: Case report.

CLINICAL SETTING: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.

CASE REPORT: Sarcoidosis is a multi-system granulomatous disease of unknown etiology with worldwide distribution. The involvement of the nervous system is common-neurosarcoidosis. Immune responses play an important role in the inflammatory process and granuloma formation. We report a case of neurosarcoidosis that was refractory to two courses of intravenous steroids. Upon initiation of oral thalidomide, the patient showed dramatic improvement clinically and on magnetic resonance imaging.

CONCLUSION: Thalidomide is an immunomodulatory agent that acts to inhibit production of tumor-necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), an important mediator in CNS inflammation, by enhancing TNF-alpha mRNA degradation. Corticosteroids have been the mainstay of treatment of neurosarcoidosis with success at halting progression of the immune process in 50% cases. Thalidomide offers unique opportunities at managing CNS inflammation due to neurosarcoidosis. DISCLOSURES: None.

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