Study objective: To determine if cell wall-deficient forms (CWDF) of mycobacteria can be grown in culture of blood from subjects with sarcoidosis.
Design: A special multicenter study of sarcoidosis (A Case Control Etiologic Study of Sarcoidosis), supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Patients and control subjects: Patients and control subjects were recruited at 10 institutions in the United States. Control subjects (controls) were of the same gender and race, and within 5 years of age as matching patients with sarcoidosis (cases).
Results: Cultures were incubated from 347 blood specimens (197 cases, 150 controls). Two investigators trained to recognize CWDF mycobacteria examined material obtained from culture tubes after 3 weeks. Structures thought to be CWDF were seen with equal frequency in cases (38%) and controls (41%). Thirty-nine percent of cases and 37% of controls were read as negative for CWDF.
Conclusion: This study fails to confirm earlier reports that CWDF mycobacteria can be grown from the blood of patients with sarcoidosis, but not from control subjects.