Sarcoidosis

Specialists provide an evidence-based review of the condition and its management

Sarcoidosis is a systemic disease of unknown cause that is characterised by the formation of immune granulomas in various organs, mainly the lungs and the lymphatic system. Studies show that sarcoidosis might be the result of an exaggerated granulomatous reaction after exposure to unidentified antigens in individuals who are genetically susceptible. Several new insights have been made, particularly with regards to the diagnosis and care of some important manifestations of sarcoidosis. The indications for endobronchial ultrasound in diagnosis and for PET in the assessment of inflammatory activity are now better specified. Recognition of unexplained persistent disabling symptoms, fatigue, small-fibre neurological impairment, cognitive failure, and changes to health state and quality of life, has improved. Mortality in patients with sarcoidosis is higher than that of the general population, mainly due to pulmonary fibrosis. Predicted advances for the future are finding the cause of sarcoidosis, and the elucidation of relevant biomarkers, reliable endpoints, and new efficient treatments, particularly in patients with refractory sarcoidosis, lung fibrosis, and those with persistent disabling symptoms.

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