Exercise capacity, muscle strength, and fatigue in sarcoidosis: A follow-up study

R.G. Marcellis, A.F. Lenssen, S. Kleynen, J. de Vries, M. Drent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to examine changes in the prevalence of exercise intolerance, reduced muscle strength, and fatigue and the changes in these parameters in individual patients during a 2-year follow-up study.
Ninety sarcoidosis patients (62 males and 28 females; mean age: 46.0 ± 10.2 years) participated in a 2-year follow-up study. At the baseline and follow-up measurements, patients performed a 6-min walk test and elbow flexor muscle strength, quadriceps peak torque, and hamstrings peak torque tests. Maximal inspiratory pressure was recorded. All patients completed the Fatigue Assessment Scale.
Both at baseline and follow-up, a substantial proportion of the patients showed a reduced 6-minute walk test (41.6 and 34.8 %, respectively), elbow flexor muscle strength (6.7 and 14.6 %), quadriceps peak torque (21.3 and 18 %), hamstrings peak torque (13.5 and 12.4 %), and maximal inspiratory pressure (45.9 and 48.6 %). The majority of the patients reported fatigue (86 and 77 %). These physical impairments remained stable during the follow-up period. The prevalence of these physical impairments in patients diagnosed with sarcoidosis <2 years before inclusion in this study was similar to that in patients with a longer history of the disease.
Exercise intolerance, muscle weakness, and fatigue are frequent problems in symptomatic sarcoidosis patients with a stable and persistent character. This study highlights that beyond medical treatment a rehabilitation program should be considered as adjunct therapy in the multidisciplinary management of sarcoidosis patients even though the achieved benefit needs future studies.Keywords: Exercise capacity, Inspiratory muscle strength, Peripheral muscle strength, Fatigue, Sarcoidosis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-256
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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