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Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary

Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary Causes

The cause of pulmonary sarcoidosis remains unknown. However, the disease has been linked to the presence of cell wall deficient bacteria, although no bacterium has been identified in standard laboratory tests. In addition, certain hereditary factors may be involved, but no genetic markers have been identified to date.

Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary Definition

Pulmonary sarcoidosis is a chronic form of sarcoidosis, a rare systemic disorder characterized by inflammation of the lungs. Approximately 90% of documented sarcoidosis cases occur in the lungs (i.e. pulmonary sarcoidosis); however, the disease can affect almost any organ in the body.

Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary Diagnosis

Pulmonary sarcoidosis can be diagnosed through chest X-rays, pulmonary function tests, bronchoalveolar lavage, blood tests, plus a biopsy of the sample tissue. Additionally, it is important to eliminate other possible causes of the symptoms, because pulmonary sarcoidosis can mimic the symptoms of other diseases.

Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary Symptoms and Signs

Pulmonary sarcoidosis presents with granulomas (small lumps or bumps), which often heal and resolve on their own. However, if symptomatic granulomas do not disappear, the inflammation can cause scarring and further damage in the affected tissues. If untreated, pulmonary sarcoidosis can progress to pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that distorts the lung structure, leading to breathing difficulties. Other complications can come in the form of a lung disease known as bronchiectasis, a condition in which the air tubes become sites for infection. In most cases, pulmonary sarcoidosis is asymptomatic, and affected individuals usually remain unaware of their condition. However, in the long term, pulmonary sarcoidosis can lead to a loss of lung volume (i.e. amount of air the lungs can hold) as well as abnormal stiffness in the lungs. In addition, pulmonary sarcoidosis can present with shortness of breath, persistent cough, skin rashes (particularly in the face, shins, or arms), eye inflammation, weight loss, night sweats, fatigue, and fever.

Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary Treatment

Treatment for pulmonary sarcoidosis usually consists of corticosteroids to treat the inflammation.

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