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Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis is characterized by the presence of collections of inflammatory cells (granulomas). The disease primarily affects the lungs, but granulomas can also form in the lymph nodes, lungs, liver, eyes, and skin, and less often in the spleen, bones, joints, sinuses, skeletal muscles, kidneys, heart, reproductive organs, salivary glands, and nervous system. The granulomas may eventually disappear completely or become scar tissue.
 

Symptoms of sarcoidosis vary depending upon the organ affected:
 
Generalized symptoms:
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Lung symptoms:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing 
  • Chest pain
 
Skin symptoms:
  • Rash 
  • Lesions
  • Color change of the skin
  • Nodules
Eye symptoms:
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity to vision 
Reference: www.nhs.uk

The exact cause of sarcoidosis is not known. There may genetic predisposition to developing the disease, which may be triggered by exposure to specific bacteria, viruses, dust or chemicals. 
 
Reference: www.nlm.nih.gov

A physical exam may show the following:
  • Abnormal breathing sounds (such as rales)
  • Enlarged liver
  • Enlarged lymph glands
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Rash
Different imaging tests may help diagnose sarcoidosis:
  • Chest x-ray to see if the lungs are involved or lymph nodes are enlarged
  • CT scan of the chest
  • Lung gallium scan
Reference: www.nhs.uk

  • Medicinal: Steroids are generally prescribed to keep inflammation under control.
  • Surgery: Organ transplant may be considered if sarcoidosis has severely damaged lungs or liver.
 
Reference: www.nm.nih.gov

  • CREATED / VALIDATED BY : NHP CC DC
  • LAST UPDATED ON : Sep 16, 2015

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