Sarcoidosis is a rare disease where small lumps form in the body. The lumps are called granulomas. They can lead to inflammation in the tissue. The lumps are most common in the lungs and lymph nodes. However, they can form in any part of the body.
The condition can range from mild to life-threatening.
The exact cause of sarcoidosis is not known. It is likely due to genes and the environment.
Things that raise the risk of sarcoidosis are:
- A family history of the condition
- Interferon therapy
- Working in certain jobs, such as:
- The U.S. Navy
- Metal working
- Handling building supplies
- HIV (rare)
Sarcoidosis may not cause symptoms at first. Symptoms that happen depend on the organs involved. Symptoms may be:
- Lasting cough
- Problems breathing
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Fever or night sweats
- Weight loss
- Skin bumps or rashes
- Headache, lightheadedness, or drooping of the face
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The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. The doctor will focus on the affected area.
Images may be taken to view the lungs and lymph nodes. This can be done with
sample of tissue may be taken and tested—to look for granulomas.
Other tests may be done to see how well organs are working. These may be:
Diagnosis is often made after other conditions are ruled out.
There is no cure for sarcoidosis. The goal is to manage symptoms. If the condition is mild, treatment may not be needed. If symptoms are severe or could cause damage, options may be:
Medicines, such as:
- Corticosteroids—to ease inflammation
- Medicine to lower the immune system
- Tumor necrosis factor inhibitors—to ease inflammation
- Antimicrobial drugs—to treat skin problems
Transplant of the
kidneys may be needed if medicine does not help.
There are no guidelines to prevent sarcoidosis.
Explore sarcoidosis. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sarcoidosis. Accessed August 9, 2021.
Sarcoidosis in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/sarcoidosis-in-adults. Accessed August 9, 2021.
Sarcoidosis in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/sarcoidosis-in-children . Accessed August 9, 2021.
8/9/2021 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillancehttp://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116787/Sarcoidosis-in-adults: Soto-Gomez N, Peters JI, et al. Diagnosis and management of sarcoidosis. Am Fam Physician. 2016;93(10:840-848.
Last reviewed July 2021 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 8/9/2021