Sarcoidosis is an autoimmune condition in which inflammatory tissue called granulomas develop in multiple organs of the body, especially the lungs. This affects the structure and function of these organs and produces various symptoms.
The symptoms of sarcoidosis include enlarged lymph glands, persistent cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, wheezing, fatigue, fever, and weight loss. Symptoms and severity vary from person to person.
Since the symptoms of sarcoidosis vary and are common to other conditions, your doctor will carefully review your history and perform several tests to make a definitive diagnosis. Imaging studies such as X-ray and CT scan may be performed to evaluate your lungs. Bronchoscopy, which involves passing a lighted viewing tube through the air passages, helps identify granulomas. A sample of tissue (biopsy) may be obtained and examined in the laboratory.
Many cases of sarcoidosis produce few symptoms and require little or no treatment. In these cases, the granulomas appear briefly and resolve on their own. There is no cure for sarcoidosis and treatment is usually symptomatic. To treat severe sarcoidosis, your doctor may prescribe medications that control inflammation or regulate the immune system. Severely damaged lungs may require transplantation.