This is an uncommon disease of unknown cause, in which clumps of immune cells called “granulomas” can invade practically any organ.ย  The most common is the lung, affected in 90% of patients, who may have cough or shortness of breath.ย  However, most patients often have no symptoms.ย  On chest x-ray, large lymph nodes (like “swollen glands”) in the center of the lungs (the “hilum”) are key to diagnosis.

Other organs may show symptoms, such  as:

  • Fatigue
  • Joints:ย  Swelling, especially if both ankles
  • Skin lumps, large or small, various colors, usually on face or upper body, or in tattoos
  • Eye:ย  Dry eyes, recurrent redness & irritation, blurry vision
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Swelling of the liver, spleen, and lymph nodes
  • Kidney stones, and loss of kidney function

If we ever find a high ESR (Sed Rate) or CRP on a blood test in someone with any of the above symptoms which we cannot easily diagnose, we’d get a chest x-ray and find classical abnormalities mentioned above.ย  A blood test for “Angiotensin Converting Enzyme” may be high, but there are false-positives & -negatives.ย  Diagnosis is made by biopsy, either of a skin lump, a lymph node, or maybe of the lung. Most patients with sarcoidosis do well; mortality may be 5% without treatment.ย  Most disability and death occur from lung complications.ย  The most common treatment is steroids, which suppress the immune system to prevent granulomas from forming.

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