Sarcoidosis and burn pit exposure in military deployers to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Southwest Asia Sarcoidosis in military personnel

Main Article Content

Divya Patel
Johnny Jaber
Jennifer Loso
Hassan Perera
Salim Daouk
Ayoub Innabi
Diana Gomez-Manjarres
Silpa Krefft
Robert Miller

Keywords

sarcoidosis, burn pits, military, veterans, desert dust

Abstract

Background and aim: Inhalational exposures have been hypothesized to play a role in the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis. Herein, we describe a cohort of US Military personnel diagnosed with sarcoidosis during or after deployment to Southwest Asia and Afghanistan, who experienced complex inhalational exposures to burn-pits and desert dust.


Methods: Consecutive military personnel at four sub-specialty clinics across the United States were screened for deployment to Southwest Asia and Afghanistan and diagnosis of sarcoidosis based on 1999 ATS/ERS/WASOG Statement on Sarcoidosis. Detailed demographic, deployment and exposure data was collected. The data combined was analyzed after de-identification and local IRB approval.


Results: Twenty-one patients met our case definition. Seventeen patients were male and 62% had extrapulmonary involvement, including 38% with musculoskeletal involvement. 


Conclusions: Our study suggests that the sarcoidosis in military personnel to Southwest Asia can be diagnosed many years after deployment. To our knowledge, this is the first case series to describe a group of military personnel diagnosed with sarcoidosis and exposures specific to military deployment to Southwest Asia.

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