Medical University of South Carolina Hospital logo
Home |  Video Library | Podcast Library | e-Newsletters | Classes & Events | About Us | News Blog | University & Colleges 
Contact Us | 843-792-1414
  

Patients & Visitors

Medical Services

Maps & Parking

Health Library

Physician Portal

Careers

Online Services
Health Library
Health Topics A to Z
Clinical Trials & Research
Tests & Procedures
Lab Tests & Results
Health Assessment Tools
Symptom Checker
Health e-Newsletters
Podcast Library
Video Library
Health Library
Bookmark Page icon Bookmark |

Print this page icon

|

E-mail icon

Health Library : Respiratory Disorders

 

Pulmonary Sarcoidosis

Illustration of  the anatomy of the respiratory system, adult
Click Image to Enlarge

What is sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis is a rare disease that results from inflammation. Currently, the cause is unknown and usually develops between 20 and 40 years of age. Almost ninety percent of the cases of sarcoidosis are found in the lungs and lymph nodes, but it can occur in almost any organ. It causes small lumps, or granulomas, which generally heal and disappear on their own. However, for those granulomas that do not heal, the tissue can remain inflamed and become scarred, or fibrotic.

Pulmonary sarcoidosis can develop into pulmonary fibrosis, which distorts the structure of the lungs and can interfere with breathing. Bronchiectasis, a lung disease in which pockets form in the air tubes of the lung and become sites for infection, can also occur.

What are the symptoms of sarcoidosis?

Most sarcoidosis patients do not exhibit symptoms and probably are unaware they have the disease. Pulmonary sarcoidosis can cause loss of lung volume (the amount of air the lungs can hold) and abnormal lung stiffness.

The following are the most common symptoms for sarcoidosis. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • shortness of breath
  • cough that will not go away
  • skin rashes on face, arms, or shins
  • inflammation of the eyes
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • night sweats
  • fever
  • pain in the chest, joints, and bones
  • wheezing

The symptoms of sarcoidosis may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Consult your physician for a diagnosis.

Who is at risk for sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis occurs in all races and both genders, but the most susceptible populations seem to be of African-American, Scandinavian, or Asian origin.

Diagnosis of sarcoidosis:

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures may include:

  • chest x-ray - a diagnostic test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
  • pulmonary function tests - diagnostic tests that help to measure the lungs' ability to move air into and out of the lungs effectively. The tests are usually performed with special machines into which the person must breathe.
  • blood tests - to analyze the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood.
  • bronchoalveolar lavage - a procedure in which a sterile saline solution is put into the lungs through a bronchoscope (a flexible tube for examining the bronchi) and then suctioned out. The bronchoalveolar lavage may be performed to diagnose lung conditions and infections.
  • biopsy

Sarcoidosis is usually diagnosed by elimination. That is, other lung disorders that have similar symptoms are progressively eliminated, leading to a diagnosis of sarcoidosis.

Treatment for sarcoidosis:

Specific treatment will be determined by your physician based on:

  • your age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the disease
  • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the disease
  • your opinion or preference

Treatment may include the use of corticosteroids.

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Respiratory Disorders


 Sources & References

OUR SERVICES

 

RELATED INFORMATION

 Interactive Tools:
 »Childhood Asthma Quiz
 »Child's Sleep Safety Quiz

 Tests & Procedures:
 »Bronchography
 »Bronchoscopy
 »Chest Fluoroscopy
 » View All 20

About This Site   |   Disclaimer   |  Privacy   |   Accessibility   |   Donations   |   Site Map
171 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, SC 29403 1.843.792.1414 | © 2014 Medical University of South Carolina

mobile web site iconrss feed iconText Messaging iconPodcast Library