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Pronounced: sar-coy-doe-sis



Sarcoidosis is a disease that forms round spots called granulomas in organs in the body. The most common places they form are in the lungs and lymph nodes.


Causes    TOP

Inflammation is how the body acts toward an infection or injury. It should go away when you are healed. It does not pass in people with sarcoidosis. The cells that cause it stay and cause granulomas. It is not known why this happens. It may be due to genetics or the environment.


Risk Factors    TOP

Sarcoidosis is more common in women who are 20 to 40 years old. It is also more common in people of African and Northern European descent.

Other things that may raise your risk are:

  • Family members with sarcoidosis
  • Working or spending time in dusty or moldy environments

Symptoms    TOP

There may not be symptoms at first. Symptoms that happen depend on the organs that are involved. They may be:

  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Tiredness
  • Breathing problems, such as shortness of breath and wheezing
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Lightheadedness or vertigo
  • Facial paralysis, such as Bell palsy
  • Problems hearing, speaking, and swallowing
  • Headache
  • Seizures

Bell Palsy

Facial droop and nerves

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


Diagnosis    TOP

You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.

A biopsy may be done to look for granulomas.

Images may be taken to view your lungs and lymph nodes. This can be done with

Other tests may be done to see how well your organs are working. These may be:


Treatment    TOP

There is no cure. Treatment is aimed at managing symptoms. Eye and lung exams will be needed to watch for changes over time. Treatment choices are:


These medicines may be used:

  • Corticosteroids to ease inflammation
  • Medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Tumor necrosis factor antagonists to ease inflammation
  • Antimicrobial drugs to treat skin problems


Organ transplant of the heart, lung, liver, or kidneys may be needed in people who are not helped by medicine.


Prevention    TOP

There are no prevention methods.


American Lung Association

Arthritis Foundation


The Arthritis Society

The Lung Association


Explore sarcoidosis. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed July 30, 2019.

Sarcoidosis. American Lung Association website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed July 30, 2019.

Sarcoidosis in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116787/Sarcoidosis-in-adults. Updated November 21, 2019. Accessed July 30, 2019.

Sarcoidosis in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T316439/Sarcoidosis-in-children. Updated May 31, 2017. Accessed July 30, 2019.

6/14/2016 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116787/Sarcoidosis-in-adults: Soto-Gomez N, Peters JI, Nambiar AM. Diagnosis and management of sarcoidosis. Am Fam Physician. 2016;93(10:840-848.

Last reviewed June 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 7/30/2019

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