Sarcoidosis is a rare lung disease of unknown causes. It most commonly affects the lungs but may involve any part of the body such as the heart, eyes, brain, skin or bones. In the lung, it may cause enlarged lymph nodes or small nodules in the lung tissue. Some people with sarcoidosis of the lung will develop progressive scarring and irreversible lung injury.
Sarcoidosis is often referred to as a ”great mimicker” because it is easily confused with many other diseases. In Arizona, Valley Fever can be difficult to distinguish from sarcoidosis. The diagnosis usually requires a combination of tests including chest X-rays, CT scans of the chest, pulmonary function testing and for many patients bronchoscopy with biopsies.
The treatment of sarcoidosis depends on the individual patient. Some patients will require aggressive therapy with medicines that suppress the immune system while others may just require periodic X-rays. Medicines such as prednisone are often used if the disease is felt to be active or causes progressive symptoms.
Because sarcoidosis may involve many different organs in the body, we often recommend annual eye exams and echocardiograms. Sarcoidosis is not contagious.
The lung doctors at Arizona Pulmonary Specialists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of sarcoidosis. Our team of doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists will work with you to ensure that you understand your medications and other treatments.