Reduced muscle strength, exercise intolerance and disabling symptoms in sarcoidosis

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Abstract

Purpose of review

This review focuses on innovations in the field of assessment and treatment of muscle weakness and exercise intolerance in sarcoidosis and the association between these and fatigue, dyspnea and quality of life (QoL).

Recent findings

Muscle strength and exercise intolerance are prevalent in patients with sarcoidosis. Exercise testing can be used to identify the presence of strength deficits and exercise intolerance. Routinely performed clinical tests, including lung function tests and imaging methods, are only weakly related to these nonspecific health complaints. Assessment of exercise capacity might also be useful for the early detection of parenchymal involvement and diagnosis of sarcoidosis-associated pulmonary hypertension. Both muscle weakness and exercise intolerance have been suggested as underlying causes of fatigue and dyspnea complaints, resulting in reduced QoL. Research is required to find out whether a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program is of clinical benefit in the management of sarcoidosis patients.

Summary

This review underlines the added value of physical testing in the management of sarcoidosis patients, especially in those with unexplained physical complaints.

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