OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy and risks of treatment with infliximab (anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha) in pathology-confirmed neurosarcoidosis. METHODS: In a retrospective study in 2 tertiary referral centers in the Netherlands, we analyzed clinical characteristics, complications, and outcome of patients with neurosarcoidosis treated with infliximab. RESULTS: Twenty-eight patients were identified with a mean age of 42 years. Neurosarcoidosis presented with a cerebral parenchymal localization in 16 (59%), pituitary gland/hypothalamic sarcoidosis in 15 (54%), peripheral nerve involvement in 12 (43%), and chronic meningitis in 11 patients (41%). Initial treatment response after the start of infliximab was complete remission in 6 (21%) and improvement in 14 (50%), whereas 7 patients had stable disease (25%), and 1 (4%) deteriorated and died. At the end of follow-up, with a median of 32 months, 5 patients (18%) had died, and 2 (40%) were using infliximab at the time of death. Tapering or discontinuation of corticosteroids without a relapse was achieved in 19 of 28 patients (68%). In patients with decreasing dosing or discontinuation of infliximab, a relapse occurred in 5 of 19 patients (26%). Complications of infliximab were reported in 10 of 28 patients (36%) and mainly consisted of infections in 8 (29%). CONCLUSION: Infliximab is an effective treatment in neurosarcoidosis leading to remission or improvement in 70%. The mortality rate in infliximab-treated patients was substantial, indicating the severity of disease and treatment-associated complications. CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This study provides Class IV evidence that in people with pathology-confirmed neurosarcoidosis, infliximab is beneficial.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000847, hdl.handle.net/1765/129304
Journal Neurology(R) neuroimmunology & neuroinflammation
Fritz, D. (Daan), Timmermans, W.M, van Laar, J.A.M, van Hagen, P.M. (P Martin), Siepman, T.A.M, van de Beek, D. (Diederik), & Brouwer, M.C. (2020). Infliximab treatment in pathology-confirmed neurosarcoidosis. Neurology(R) neuroimmunology & neuroinflammation, 7(5). doi:10.1212/NXI.0000000000000847