Hepatic Sarcoidosis: Natural History and Management Implications

Mai Sedki, Nicholas Fonseca, Priscila Santiago, Liege Diaz, Monica Garcia-Buitrago, Mehdi Mirsaeidi, Cynthia Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction: Hepatic granulomas are common in patients with sarcoidosis, but clinically significant liver disease is uncommon and poorly studied. We aimed to characterize the frequency and clinical course of hepatic sarcoidosis in an ethnically diverse population. Methods: This is a retrospective study including all cases of hepatic sarcoidosis in a single center. The median follow-up time was 49 months (4–121). Cases were identified based on ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes for granulomatous hepatitis, sarcoidosis, and hepatic sarcoidosis. The Chi-square and Wilcoxon-signed rank tests were used as indicated to assess for differences between groups. Results: Of 286 patients with sarcoidosis, 27 had hepatic involvement; 78% were female and 48% African American. The most common pattern of liver tests abnormalities was cholestatic. Ten patients had clinically significant hepatic involvement: cirrhosis in seven (25.9%), portal hypertension in nine (33%), and portal vein thrombosis in one (3.7%). Sex, race, and ethnicity were not associated with an increased risk of hepatic involvement or symptomatic hepatic sarcoidosis. Most patients received medical treatment, most commonly oral glucocorticoids. At the end of the follow-up period, all patients were alive but two had undergone liver transplantation due to complications of hepatic sarcoidosis. Three patients with hepatic sarcoidosis had initially been classified as AMA-negative PBC. Conclusions: Hepatic sarcoidosis was found in 9.4% of patients with sarcoidosis and was clinically significant in 37% of those. Identifying and monitoring hepatic sarcoidosis is crucial given its potential complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number232
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
StatePublished - Oct 30 2019


  • AMA-negative PBC
  • hepatic granuloma
  • hepatic sarcoidosis
  • outcomes
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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