The effect of race on clinical presentation and outcomes in neurosarcoidosis

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Journal of the neurological sciences


BACKGROUND: Nervous system is affected in 25% of patients with sarcoidosis. Current literature is largely limited to case reports with disproportionate Caucasian population. We aim to evaluate differences in presentation, management and outcomes by race in neurosarcoidosis.

METHODS: Clinical and demographic data on consecutive patients fulfilling Zajicek criteria for neurosarcoidosis from 1995 to 2016 at Henry Ford Hospital were extracted. Disparities in clinical presentation, laboratory values, radiological features, treatment and outcomes, were compared between two groups: African Americans (AA) and non-AA using chi-squared tests, two sample t-test for age and Wilcoxon two sample tests.

RESULTS: A total of 118 patients were included, of which 58% were female and 73% were AA. The diagnosis of neurosarcoidosis was noted to be definite (25%), probable (64%) and possible (11%). AA patients had a significantly higher rate of elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (62% vs 24%, P = .005) and had lower resolution of abnormalities on follow-up imaging (14% vs 41%, P = .017). There was no difference in disability on follow-up (25% vs 33%, P = .43) or mortality (13% vs 9%, P = .6).

CONCLUSIONS: There were no differences in presentation, management and outcomes by race. Discordance in the clinical and radiological data by race has clinical implications and needs further investigation.

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