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Sarcoidosis

Do I Have Pulmonary Sarcoidosis?

01/02/2008

Question:

I was just wondering if I may have pulmonary sarcoidosis or is it called something else? I had a bronchoscopy done and it came back negative. I then had a mediastinoscopy done and it came back positive for sarcoidosis. Is this still considered pulmonary or could it be something else. Thanks

Answer:

Although sarcoidosis commonly affects the lungs, it does not always do so. Assuming that all other potential causes of granulomatous inflammation (what they apparently found in your mediastinal lymph nodes on biopsy) have been excluded, it would be appropriate to designate your illness as sarcoidosis. If you have abnormalities of lung function or typical changes in the radiographs (x-ray or CT scan) you may also have lung involvement (i.e., pulmonary sarcoidosis).

It is possible that the lung biopsy simply missed the affected area of the lung. You are encouraged to ask your doctor to clarify the situation.

If you do have pulmonary sarcoidosis you will require close follow-up to make sure that it does not progress. Even if you have no pulmonary symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) it is recommended that you be seen by a lung specialist once a year for a chest x-ray and pulmonary function testing if you do have lung involvement.

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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