Arthritis

What is Löfgren Syndrome?

Löfgren SyndromeLöfgren syndrome is a sub-type and an acute form of sarcoidosis and one of the main symptoms of this syndrome is arthritis. Europeans, especially Scandinavians and the Irish, Puerto Ricans and Africans are the ones known to be the most affected by this syndrome. Löfgren syndrome is named after the Swedish scientist Sven Löfgren who studied on this particular sub-type of sarcoidosis.

Löfgren syndrome

We mentioned earlier that this particular syndrome is an acute sub-type of sarcoidosis. So, let us first see what sarcoidosis actually is. Sarcoidosis is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting multiple systems in the body (lungs, liver, eyes, skin, lymph nodes etc.) at the same time.

There are two other syndromes that are associated with sarcoidosis, of which Löfgren’s is one. It has been observed that in people suffering from this acute syndrome suffer from bilateral hilar lymphadenopathy (a condition where the lymph nodes get enlarged) and erythema nodosum (an inflammatory condition affecting the skin on the shins leading to the development of red lumps) along with arthritis or the non-inflammatory condition arthralgia.

Bilateral Hilar Lymphadenopathy in the Mediastinum Erythema Nodosum

People suffering from the syndrome described by Löfgren can have their skin, respiratory, musculoskeltal and the ocular systems affected simultaneously.

Who All are Known to Develop This Syndrome?

  • People belonging to any origin and age group can be affected by this syndrome with the Irish and the Scandinavians more vulnerable to this disease while, the Japanese being the least vulnerable.
  • Also, middle-aged women are known to be more affected than men.
  • In the northern hemisphere, spring season is considered to be the time when most people are diagnosed of this syndrome.

Signs and Symptoms

The following are the signs and symptoms found in people suffering from this syndrome-

  • fever
  • cough
  • inflammation of the ankles further leading to arthritis (especially more in men)
  • Achilles tendonitis of both the legs (although rare)
  • weight loss
  • myalgia or muscle pain

Although the above mentioned symptoms can look frightening, Löfgren syndrome is self-limiting and only a benign but, not a malignant condition. In most people, the symptoms alleviate within a period of 6-24 months. Only in a few cases though, the symptoms might take a longer time to improve.

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