IMPORTANCE - Sarcoidosis is a chronic granulomatous disease for which there are limited therapeutic options. This is the first randomized, placebo-controlled study to demonstrate that antimycobacterial therapy reduces lesion diameter and disease severity among patients with chronic cutaneous sarcoidosis.
OBJECTIVE - To evaluate the safety and efficacy of once-daily antimycobacterial therapy on the resolution of chronic cutaneous sarcoidosis lesions.
DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS - A randomized, placebo-controlled, single-masked trial on 30 patients with symptomatic chronic cutaneous sarcoidosis lesions deemed to require therapeutic intervention.
SETTING - A tertiary referral dermatology center in Nashville, Tennessee.
INTERVENTIONS - Participants were randomized to receive either the oral concomitant levofloxacin, ethambutol, azithromycin, and rifampin (CLEAR) regimen or a comparative placebo regimen for 8 weeks with a 180-day follow-up.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES - Participants were monitored for absolute change in lesion diameter and decrease in granuloma burden, if present, on completion of therapy.
OBSERVATIONS - In the intention-to-treat analysis, the CLEAR-treated group had a mean (SD) decrease in lesion diameter of -8.4 (14.0) mm compared with an increase of 0.07 (3.2) mm in the placebo-treated group (P = .05). The CLEAR group had a significant reduction in granuloma burden and experienced a mean (SD) decline of -2.9 (2.5) mm in lesion severity compared with a decline of -0.6 (2.1) mm in the placebo group (P = .02).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE - Antimycobacterial therapy may result in significant reductions in chronic cutaneous sarcoidosis lesion diameter compared with placebo. These observed reductions, associated with a clinically significant improvement in symptoms, were present at the 180-day follow-up period. Transcriptome analysis of sarcoidosis CD4+ T cells revealed reversal of pathways associated with disease severity and enhanced T-cell function following T-cell receptor stimulation.
TRIAL REGISTRATION - clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01074554.