Sarcoidosis

December 22 21:42 2019 Print This Article

Sarcoidosis (sar”koi-do’sis) involves inflammation that produces tiny lumps of cells in various organs in your body. The Sarcoidosis Center is a non-profit corporation designed to provide information for patients and physicians regarding sarcoidosis. Virtually any organ can be affected, however, granulomas most often appear in the lungs ( D 86.0 ) or the lymph nodes ( D 86.1 ). When viewing X-rays of the lungs, sarcoidosis can have the appearance of tuberculosis or lymphoma.

The disease can attack any organ of the body in any location. The disease is characterized by the presence of granulomas, small areas of inflamed cells. It is generally a chronic disease, lasting for several years or a lifetime. Some people, however, may have a type that only lasts a few months. Sarcoidosis has a higher frequency in people of color and in women, but the disease is also common in whites and men in the U.S. and throughout the world.

Sarcoidosis does occur in children and elderly, but most patients present between ages 20-40 years. The lumps are called granulomas (gran”u-lo’mahs) because they look like grains of sugar or sand. They are very small and can be seen only with a microscope. Although the majority of patients with sarcoidosis do quite well, those that do not may have devastating changes in lifestyle. Pulmonary sarcoidosis can cause loss of lung volume (the amount of air the lungs can hold) and abnormal lung stiffness.

Doctors believe sarcoidosis results from an abnormal immune response. But just what triggers this response isn’t known. It’s more common in women than in men. The most common presenting findings are thoracic lymphadenopathy, lung parenchymal abnormality, and lesions of the skin and eye. However, more than 90 percent of patients with sarcoidosis will have pulmonary involvement.

Causes of Sarcoidosis

The comman causes of Sarcoidosis include the following:

  • Viral/bacterial infection.
  • A defect in body immune system.
  • An inherited or genetic factor.
  • Familial clustering of cases has been reported. Monozygotic twins are 2-4 times as likely to have the disease as dizygotic twins.
  • Noninfectious agents, such as aluminum, zirconium, talc, pine tree pollen, and clay, have also been implicated.
  • It may occur when your immune system overreacts to an unknown toxin, drug or pathogen that enters your body through your airways.
  • An unknown environmental cause.

Symptoms of Sarcoidosis

Some sign and symptoms related to Sarcoidosis are as follows:

  • In pulmonary sarcoidosis, patients may have a dry cough (without sputum), shortness of breath, or mild chest pain.
  • Lung problems.
  • Arthritis.
  • Myositis.
  • Between 30% and 50% of people who have sarcoidosis have skin problems, such as rashes or nodules (small bumps on the skin).
  • Small red bumps on your face, arms or buttocks, a condition more common in blacks than in whites.
  • About 25% of people who have sarcoidosis have eye symptoms.
  • Weight loss.

Treatment of Sarcoidosis

Here is list of the methods for treating Sarcoidosis:

  • Obtain intravenous access for all patients except those who have minimal complaints. Provide judicious fluid boluses to patients with evidence of dehydration.
  • Limited, nondisfiguring cutaneous involvement may be treated with topical or intralesional corticosteroids.
  • Medications: glucocorticoids, NSAIDs/salicylates, colchicine, hydroxychloroquine.   Methotrexate, azathioprine and cyclosporine are being tested.
  • Surgical excision of small lesions or excision of larger lesions with skin grafting can be attempted.
  • Oral corticosteroids are usually the treatment of choice for patients with Sarcoidosis.
  • Physical therapy is also a useful treatment of Sarcoidosis.