Symptomatic Sarcoidosis

What is Symptomatic Sarcoidosis?

Symptomatic Sarcoidosis is a chronic granulomatous disease with unknown cause, which could manifest as systemic and/or localized clinical symptoms. It usually affects organs like lungs, liver, lymph nodes, bones and skin. The clinical manifestations vary depending on which organ or tissues is being affected. Symptoms can range from non-specific constitutional complaints such as those seen in fever, night sweats, fatigue, weight loss, anemia, malaise to more severe symptoms like shortness of breath, chronic cough, chest pain, and visual complications.

Signs and Symptoms of Symptomatic Sarcoidosis

The key sign of symptomatic sarcoidosis is lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes). Other signs and symptoms may include:

  • Coughing (may bring up blood or sputum)
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • Wheezing, chest pain
  • Fatigue and malaise
  • Fever, night sweats, weight loss
  • Joint pain and inflammation
  • Skin rash or lesions
  • Eye pain, redness, or blurred vision (uveitis)
  • Abnormal liver function tests (LFTs)

Diagnosis of Symptomatic Sarcoidosis

The diagnosis of symptomatic sarcoidosis is based on the detection of typical clinical features with the aid of appropriate laboratory tests and imaging procedures. The chest X-ray (CXR) may reveal lung infiltrates, hilar adenopathy, or calcified granulomas. A computed tomography (CT) scan provides more detailed anatomical imaging of the chest and other organs, including the hilar lymph nodes and the mediastinum. Bronchoscopy (insertion of a small tube through the mouth and into the lungs) for endoscopic visualization of the airways may be used to help diagnose and rule out other lung diseases.

The diagnosis is also supported by laboratory tests. Blood tests for ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) and serum calcium levels may be ordered. Histological examination of the affected tissues, including skin biopsy of the affected area, may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis

Treatment of Symptomatic Sarcoidosis

The treatment of symptomatic sarcoidosis depends on the severity and type of symptoms present. Treatment usually includes corticosteroid therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs, or immunosuppressants. Surgery may be needed to remove or repair affected organs or tissues or to drain any fluids that may have accumulated.

In some cases of mild symptomatic sarcoidosis, no treatment may be necessary. In such cases, regular follow-ups with a physician to monitor the condition are recommended.