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Saturday, May 18, 2013
Could I have Sarcoidosis?
I have recently been diagnosed with bilateral erythema nodosum on my ankles and feet. I was wondering about the causes but thought I had none of the other symptoms of sarcoidosis, till I remembered my diagnosis of adult onset asthmas about a 18 months ago. I had a persistent night time cough with wheezing but the usual test of lung function was repeatedly normal and I was only given the asthma diagnosis when a 10 day course of strong steroids removed my coughing and wheezing. Do I need to discover whether I have sarcoidosis or is it unlikely to cause me anymore problems?
Based upon this limited information, it is possible that you do have sarcoidosis. Although there are many causes of wheezing, the causes of erythema nodosum is more limited. These include infections (e.g., fungal, bacterial, TB), drugs, autoimmune disorders (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease), sarcoidosis or cancer.
Your doctor should consider a chest x-ray, which may provide a sign of sarcoidosis or the other causes mentioned above. A tuberculin skin test is also recommended, and other tests may be indicated based upon your clinical presentation.
Elliott D Crouser, MD
Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University