Learn more about the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine.
Sarcoidosis, also known as sarcoid, is a disease that most commonly affects the lungs, but can affect any organ in the body, including the:
When tissue from a person with sarcoid is viewed under a microscope, tiny nodules — called “granulomas” — are seen.
People affected by sarcoid in the lungs may experience:
While there is no known cause for sarcoid, the University of Pittsburgh Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Disease at UPMC is one of the largest centers in the world for management of the disease.
Our patients participate in a wide array of clinical research studies, such as trials of experimental medicines. Based on our research, we aim to better understand the causes of sarcoid and devise a new generation of treatments.
To determine the best route for treatment, UPMC specialists will:
For many people, the first test will be an x-ray of the chest.
The chest x-ray may show tiny nodules (“granulomas”) and enlarged lymph nodes, which suggest a diagnosis of sarcoid.
Other tests include:
Sarcoid symptoms vary in severity.
In many people, sarcoid resolves on its own or with a short course of treatment. In others, the disease progresses and may require long-term treatment and possibly a lung transplant.
A critical component in the management of sarcoid is referral to a center that specializes in the disease.
At the University of Pittsburgh Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Disease a t UPMC, patients are evaluated by a multidisciplinary team that includes:
The team will re-evaluate your diagnosis and assess treatment strategies, once diagnosis of sarcoid is confirmed.
Several treatments for sarcoid are available.
The most commonly used medicine, to help control the symptoms of sarcoid, is prednisone. Prednisone belongs to the class of medications called corticosteroids, which are potent anti-inflammatory medicines.
Your doctor may ultimately decrease the dose of prednisone and add other medications to help prevent the symptoms of sarcoid from returning.
Other very important treatments for sarcoid include:
Our doctors are familiar with the latest research, scientific literature, and recommendations from national organizations such as the American Thoracic Society .
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