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Quick Facts

Sarcoidosis

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Nov 2020| Content last modified Nov 2020
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What is sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis is a disease in which small clumps of inflammatory cells form in one or more of your organs. The clumps of cells are called granulomas. They aren't cancerous. When you have sarcoidosis, you also have inflammation throughout your body.

What are the symptoms of sarcoidosis?

Many people with sarcoidosis have no symptoms or only mild symptoms. But a few people become very ill.

Symptoms depend on what part of your body is affected.

General symptoms of sarcoidosis include:

Lung symptoms are the most common and include:

  • Trouble breathing

  • Coughing, sometimes coughing up blood

Skin symptoms are common and include:

Eye symptoms include:

  • Red, painful, watery eyes

  • Decreased vision and rarely blindness

Heart symptoms are rare but can be dangerous. You may have:

Many other parts of your body can be affected.

How can doctors tell if I have sarcoidosis?

Doctors usually suspect sarcoidosis if you have:

To tell for sure, doctors usually:

  • Take a sample of your tissue, usually from your lungs, and look at it under a microscope (biopsy)

If you have sarcoidosis, doctors will check how your lungs are working using:

How do doctors treat sarcoidosis?

Doctors don’t treat sarcoidosis unless it's causing symptoms.

To lessen your symptoms, doctors may have you take:

  • NSAIDs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, to lessen pain or fever

  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to treat inflammation

If you have sarcoidosis in your heart, doctors may put in a pacemaker (a small electrical device that doctors put in your chest to help control unusual heart rhythms).

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