Sarcoidosis Information - Symptoms and It's Treatment
Sarcoidosis (sar"koi-do'sis) involves inflammation that produces tiny lumps of cells in various organs in your body. The lumps are called granulomas (gran"u-lo'mahs) because they look like grains of sugar or sand. They are very small and can be seen only with a microscope.
Sarcoidosis is a multisystem, granulo, matous disorder that characteristically produces lymphadenopathy, pulmonary infiltration, and skeletal, liver, eye, or skin lesions. It occurs most commonly in young adults (ages 20 to 40). In the United States, sarcoidosis occurs predominantly among blacks and affects twice as many women as men. Acute sarcoidosis usually resolves within 2 years. Chronic, progressive sarcoidosis, which is uncommon is associated with pulmonary fibrosis and progressive pulmonary disability.
Pulmonary sarcoidosis can develop into pulmonary fibrosi, 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 causes Sarcoidosis?
The cause of sarcoidosis is unknown. but the following factors may playa role:
Signs and symptoms of Sarcoidosis
Initial symptoms of sarcoidosis include arthralgia (in the wrists. ankles, and elbows), fatigue, malaise, and weight loss. Other clinical features vary according to the extent and location of the fibrosis:
Diagnosis of sarcoidosis is one of exclusion. Once differential diagnoses are excluded. other tests may be ordered. Typical clinical features with appropriate laboratory data and X-ray findings suggest sarcoidosis. A positive Kveim skin test supports the diagnosis. In this test. the patient receives an intradermal injection of an antigen prepared from human sarcoidasis spleen or lymph nodes from patients with sarcoidosis. If the patient has active sarcoidosis, granuloma develops at the injection site in 2 to 6 weeks. This reaction is considered positive when a biopsy of the skin at the injection site shows discrete epithelioid cell granuloma.
Other relevant findings include:
Negative tuberculin skin test, fungal serologies, and sputum cultures for mycobacteria and fungi as well as negative biopsy cultures help rule out infection.
Treatment of Sarcoidosis
Asymptomatic sarcoidosis requires no treatment. However, sarcoidosis that causes ocular, respiratory, CNS, cardiac, or systemic symptoms (such as fever and weight loss) requires treatment with systemic or topical steroids as does sarcoidosis that produces hypercalcemia or destructive skin lesions. Such therapy is usually continued for 1 to 2 years, but some patients may need lifelong therapy. Other measures include a low-calcium diet and avoidance of direct exposure to sunlight in patients with hypercalcemia.
Special considerations and Prevention
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