Clinical features of spinal cord sarcoidosis: analysis of 17 neurosarcoidosis patients

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The diagnosis of neurosarcoidosis is often difficult; the imaging signs of spinal cord sarcoidosis sometimes mimic those of cervical spondylotic myelopathy, which is common in elderly persons. We examined the characteristics of spinal cord sarcoidosis in Japanese patients with neurosarcoidosis. This case series identified patients with neurosarcoidosis at four general hospitals and one university hospital from April 1998 to September 2010. All diagnoses were based on the diagnostic criteria proposed by Zajicek et al. Seventeen patients (nine men and eight women) were involved: six patients with spinal cord lesions accompanied by cervical spondylosis, five with cerebral lesions, three with cranial nerve lesions, two with meningitis, and one with nerve root lesions. Patients with spinal cord sarcoidosis had a higher onset age, longer duration from onset to diagnosis, reduced leukocytosis in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and lower angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) levels in the CSF. The results of this study indicate that diagnosis of spinal cord sarcoidosis requires careful evaluation.

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