Sarcoidosis is a condition with similar features to Tuberculosis. The cause is unknown but it is a chronic condition, which involves the enlargement of many of the lymph nodes in the body and granulomas can develop in the lungs, liver and spleen.
The condition may give rise to very slight symptoms or it can be severe, in some cases the patient is symptomatic with normal chest X-rays, but there is evidence of granulomas formation in lymph nodes and the lungs.
The granulomas can go on to resolve or they can fibrose. Those found in the lungs can cause breathing difficulties, as the viable areas of the lungs which are capable of expanding and gas exchange, gradually become reduced. This in turn can put a strain on the cardiovascular system and in rare cases can lead to heart failure.
The joints of the body, the eyes and the skin are also focal points of tissue change. It is possible to have polyarthralgia (pain and aching in more than one joint), uveitis (inflammation of part of the eye) and other eye disorders.
Treatment is extremely limited and in some tests has shown to be no more effective in those patients compared to an untreated group. Sometimes steroid treatment is useful to give some immediate relief to some of the symptoms but it cannot be seen to be a cure.
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