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Sarcoidosis

Sarcoid of horses or other animals and people

10/17/2006

Question:

Could there be an association between sarcoid of horses (or other animals) and sarcoid of people? Since sarcoid has been around for so long it is strange that we still don`t know the origin.

If we don`t know what causes it how can we hope to treat it except by trial/error? Seems like there are many people with the chronic/severe form of this disease AND many more than what there used to be. Thank you for your time.

Answer:

Dear Sir/Madam-

You raise interesting questions.  Unfortunately, the cause of sarcoidosis remains unknown, and it is not even clear that it is a single disease.  Different ethnic groups clearly have very different disease manifestations, including tendencies for the disease to run in families.  Most sarcoidosis experts believe it is caused by a combination of exposure to an environmental agent (which explains why it often occurs in the lung, skin, and lymph nodes) in persons who are genetically predisposed (there are certain genetic variations that either predispose or protect against the disease).

The US Government is just beginning to recognize the importance of sarcoidosis, and many doctors are not familiar with the disease.  Improved familiarity with the disease and better diagnostic tools (e.g., CT scans) may explain why the incidence of sarcoidosis appears to be on the rise.   Hopefully, once the Government has more money to devote to research (instead of war), there will be a push for more research in this field.

Until then, it would be effective to alert your congressman to this disease and your frustrations.  Local sarcoidosis support groups may also be available and are even more effective for increasing awareness of the disease.

Thank you for your questions.

For more information:

Go to the Sarcoidosis health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Elliott D Crouser, MD Elliott D Crouser, MD
Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University