Sarcoidosis

Granulomatous disorder characterized by the presence of granulomas (accumulations of granular tissue), often in lymph nodes or the lungs. Sometimes the disease is serious, and hospitalization is necessary, but roughly 70 per cent of patients have no painful symptoms, and the disease is discovered by chance at a medical examination. If the granules are in the lung they cause coughing and shortness of breath, and there can be a slight fever and fatigue as a result of the inflammation reaction. In sarcoidosis of the skin it becomes reddish-purple, tight and painful, with granules under the skin. Sarcoidosis usually clears up without treatment, sometimes with the formation of scar tissue, and in the eyes, brain and heart this can lead to complications, because the scar tissue impairs the function of the organ, and in such cases sarcoidosis should be treated. Sarcoidosis of the lungs usually heals spontaneously, and even if scar tissue forms there is usually enough healthy tissue remaining for the lungs to continue to function normally. The condition is usually detected by an X-ray of the lungs. To be sure of the diagnosis a biopsy (removal of a small piece of tissue) can be carried out on the affected organ. Muscles, lymph nodes and skin are particularly suited to this procedure. Microscopic examination reveals

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