Sarcoid-like granulomatous orbitopathy—presentation, systemic involvement and clinical outcome



To describe patients with sarcoid-like granulomatous orbitopathy (SLGO), the rate of known and subsequent systemic sarcoidosis, and the treatment and outcome for the condition.

Patients and methods

Retrospective review of patients with SLGO presenting between 1990 and 2018, excluding solely lid or lacrimal drainage disease.


Sixty-one patients (45 female; 74%) were identified, 54 having biopsy-proven sarcoidosis (47 orbital, 24 prior extra-orbital), and half were Afro-Caribbean. The average age at presentation was 45.3 years (range 18–78 years), with the commonest symptoms being swelling, pain and diplopia; of clinical signs, most patients (87%) had eyelid swelling, reduced motility (25%), and disease-related visual impairment (10%). Localized dacryoadenitis was present in 49/61 (21/49 bilateral) patients, and more diffuse disease in 28/61 (8/28 bilateral). Systemic involvement was found in 23 (62%) of the 37 first presenting with orbital disease. Twenty-three (38%) patients were observed and two-thirds received oral corticosteroids, with 53/61 (87%) patients having subjective and objective clinical improvement. The average follow-up was 53.4 months (range 1–315 months) and clinical recurrence occurred in 12 (20%) patients at 26.5 months (range 1–115 months) after first diagnosis.


Systemic sarcoidosis may be discovered in about two-thirds of patients presenting with SLGO (that tends to present with inflammatory features), but the treatment response appears similar in patients with known sarcoidosis and those with newly-diagnosed systemic disease after orbital presentation. With long-term follow-up, a third of patients have spontaneous regression of orbital disease, but 20% have recurrence after reducing or stopping systemic immunosuppression.

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GER receives some funding from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.

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Correspondence to Geoffrey E. Rose.

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Vahdani, K., Rose, G.E. Sarcoid-like granulomatous orbitopathy—presentation, systemic involvement and clinical outcome. Eye (2020).

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