Semin Respir Crit Care Med 2020; 41(05): 607-617
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1713008
Review Article

Overlap Syndromes in Sarcoidosis: Clinical Features and Outcomes

W. Ennis James
1  Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Susan Pearlstine Sarcoidosis Center of Excellence, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
› Author Affiliations


Sarcoidosis is a multisystem inflammatory disease characterized by noncaseating granulomatous inflammation. While pulmonary sarcoidosis is most common, extrapulmonary involvement occurs in 50 to 74% of patients and can be the presenting abnormality in some patients. The diagnosis of sarcoidosis is based on a compatible clinical presentation in combination with granulomas on histology and exclusion of other causes. However, the absence of a diagnostic biomarker for sarcoidosis, in addition to the overlap of granulomatous inflammation and nonspecific clinical findings with other diseases, often results in a delayed diagnosis. Sarcoidosis overlap syndromes are typically described when sarcoidosis is diagnosed in the presence of another disease (concurrently or sequentially) with shared clinical and histologic features, or when sarcoidosis presents with clinical features typically observed in, but not diagnostic of, other diseases. Awareness of overlap syndromes is important for clinicians to avoid diagnostic errors and evaluate for concomitant diagnoses that may impact the management and outcome of sarcoidosis. This article is intended to provide an overview of these presentations and the most commonly associated diseases, with attention to their prevalence, clinical features, and reciprocal impacts on disease outcomes.

Publication History

Publication Date:
10 August 2020 (online)

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