- Age: 20 to 40
- Sex: female
- Ethnic descent: African-American, Northern European, Scandinavian, and Irish
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Rash (may or may not be raised)
- Pain or irritation of eyes
- Fatigue, especially with exertion
- Muscle weakness
- Night sweats
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Difficulty hearing
- Blurred vision or blindness
- Poor coordination
- Trouble walking
- Irregular heart rate
- Pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints
- Facial paralysis ( Bell’s palsy )
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Blood tests—to check for a variety of factors:
- A complete blood count to check for anemia
- Liver function tests to check for liver abnormalities
- Increased calcium levels, which can occur with sarcoidosis
- Elevated levels of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), which is often released by the granulomas
- Urine test—24-hour urine test to check for elevated levels of calcium in the urine
- X-rays—a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body
- Biopsy —removal of a sample of the affected tissue for testing
- Electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG) —a test that records the electrical activity of the heart
- Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) —tests to determine how well you can breathe
- Bronchoscopy —the insertion of a lighted tube into the lungs to look at the tissue and obtain a sample for biopsy. The doctor may also do a bronchoalveolar lavage. This involves flushing the lungs with fluid and collecting the fluid for analysis.
- Gallium scan—the injection of radioactive material into the body. The material collects in areas with sarcoidosis. A machine later scans the body and identifies areas with higher concentrations of the injected material.
- CT scan —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of the inside of the body
- Eye exam—done with a special lighted instrument that allows the doctor to look inside the eye
- Prednisone (the main treatment) is an oral steroid used to decrease inflammation.
- Methotrexate or azathioprine may be used for patients who do not respond to steroids.
- Hydroxychloroquine may be used to treat skin problems.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents may be used to treat musculoskeletal symptoms.
- Pulmonary rehabilitation programs may help improve lung function.
- Topical steroids may be advised for rashes.
- Eye drops may be used for mild eye problems.
- If you smoke, quit .
- Avoid exposure to dust and chemicals.
- Notify your doctor at once if any symptoms develop or worsen.
- Don't smoke. If you smoke, quit.
- Avoid exposure to chemicals and toxins.
- To prevent infection, wash your hands before eating or preparing food and after using the bathroom.
American Lung Association http://www.lungusa.org/
Arthritis Foundation http://www.arthritis.org/
The Arthritis Society http://www.arthritis.ca/
The Canadian Lung Association http://www.lung.ca/home-accueil%5Fe.php/
American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home.html . Accessed July 22, 2009.
Goldman L, Ausiello DA. Cecil Textbook of Medicine . 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders; 2007.
Rakel RE, Bope ET, Conn HF. Conn's Current Therapy . 59th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co; 2007.
Dambro MR. Griffith's 5-Minute Clinical Consult. 16th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins; 2008.
Harris ED, Ruddy S, Kelley WN, et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology . 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co; 2005.
Goroll AH, Mulley AG. Primary Care Medicine . 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA:Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins; 2000.
- Reviewer: Igor Puzanov, MD
- Review Date: 11/2012 -
- Update Date: 11/26/2012 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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