The cause of the disease is unknown. In sarcoidosis, tiny clumps of abnormal tissue (granulomas) form in certain organs of the body. Granulomas are clusters of immune cells.
The disease can affect almost any organ of the body, but it most commonly affects the lungs.
Possible causes of sarcoidosis include: Extreme immune response to infection
High sensitivity to environmental factors
Genetic factors : The condition is more common in African Americans than Caucasians, especially in Caucasians of Scandinavian heritage. Females are usually affected more often than males.
The disease typically begins between ages 20 and 40. Sarcoidosis is very rare in young children.
A person with a close blood relative who has sarcoidosis is nearly five times as likely to develop the condition.
NCBI: National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine
What Is Sarcoidosis?
Sarcoidosis (sar-koy-DO-sis) is a disease of unknown cause that leads to inflammation. This disease affects your body’s organs.
Normally, your immune system defends your body against foreign or harmful substances. For example, it sends special cells to protect organs that are in danger.
These cells release chemicals that recruit other cells to isolate and destroy the harmful substance. Inflammation occurs during this process. Once the harmful substance is gone, the cells and the inflammation go away.
In people who have sarcoidosis, the inflammation doesn't go away. Instead, some of the immune system cells cluster to form lumps called granulomas (gran-yu-LO-mas) in various organs in your body.
United States Department of Human Services - National Institutes of Health
Sarcoidosis (from sarc meaning flesh, -oid, like, and -osis, process), also called sarcoid, Besnier-Boeck disease or Besnier-Boeck-Schaumann disease, is a disease in which abnormal collections of chronic inflammatory cells (granulomas) form as nodules in multiple organs. The cause of sarcoidosis is unknown. Granulomas most often appear in the lungs or the lymph nodes, but virtually any organ can be affected. Normally the onset is gradual. Sarcoidosis may be asymptomatic or chronic. It commonly improves or clears up spontaneously. More than 2/3 of people with lung sarcoidosis have no symptoms after 9 years. About 50% have relapses. About 10% develop serious disability. Lung scarring or infection may lead to respiratory failure and death.
Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia
Sarcoidosis type of inflammation
Sarcoidosis is a disease that results from a specific type of inflammation of tissues of the body. It can appear in almost any body organ, but it starts most often in the lungs or lymph nodes.
The cause of sarcoidosis is unknown. The disease can appear suddenly and disappear. Or it can develop gradually and go on to produce symptoms that come and go, sometimes for a lifetime.
As sarcoidosis progresses, microscopic lumps of a specific form of inflammation, called granulomas, appear in the affected tissues. In the majority of cases, these granulomas clear up, either with or without treatment. In the few cases where the granulomas do not heal and disappear, the tissues tend to remain inflamed and become scarred (fibrotic).
MedicineNet.com is an online, healthcare media publishing company. It provides easy-to-read, in-depth, authoritative medical information for consumers via its robust, user-friendly, interactive website.
Sarcoidosis: abnormal immune response
Sarcoidosis (sahr-koi-DO-sis) is characterized by the development and growth of tiny clumps of inflammatory cells in different areas of your body — most commonly the lungs, lymph nodes, eyes and skin.
Doctors believe sarcoidosis results from an abnormal immune response — most likely to something inhaled from the air — but just what triggers this response isn't known. The course of sarcoidosis is variable from person to person. Often, it goes away on its own, but in some people signs and symptoms of sarcoidosis may last a lifetime.
Mayo Clinic Online
Sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease
Sarcoidosis (pronounced SAR-COY-DOE-SIS) is a potentially fatal inflammatory disease that can appear in almost any organ in the body. Although the lungs are affected in more than 90% of patients, the disease often attacks the heart, eyes, central nervous system, liver and kidneys. The cause remains unknown and THERE IS NO CURE.
The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research (FSR) is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving care for sarcoidosis patients and to finding a cure for this disease.
Prevalence: The number of cases that exist at a given point in time, e.g. 100 cases/100,000 population in 2007. This is the proportion of the population that has the disease.
Sarcoidosis occurs worldwide, however, the incidence and prevalence rates vary widely among various locations and among certain subgroups even within locations.
The Sarcoidosis Center is a non-profit corporation (501 (c)(3)) designed to provide information for patients and physicians regarding sarcoidosis.
Inflamed cells of Sarcoidosis
Sarcoidosis is a condition where small bead-like patches of inflamed cells -- called granulomas -- show up in the body, usually in the lungs and nearby lymph nodes. Sarcoidosis can also affect other parts of the body, including the muscles, eyes, and skin.
Many people with sarcoidosis may have no symptoms at all. But in others, the condition can cause long-term organ damage. An example is the formation of fiber-like scar tissue in the lung, which can cause breathing problems. Sarcoidosis may develop over time and cause symptoms that last for years, or it may show up and go away quickly.
University of Maryland, Medical Center
Dermatologic Manifestations of Sarcoidosis
Dermatologic manifestations are seen in 25% of patients with sarcoidosis. They usually accompany systemic involvement, but in some cases they may be the only manifestations of the disease. Sarcoidosis is characterized by noncaseating epithelioid granulomas that may affect any organ system.
Although Jonathan Hutchinson described the first case in 1869, the etiology of the disease is still unknown. The disease most commonly involves granuloma formation in the lungs. Other commonly involved organ systems include the lymph nodes (especially the intrathoracic nodes), the skin, the eyes, the liver, the heart, and the nervous, musculoskeletal, renal, and endocrine systems.
Modern history of sarcoidosis
The modern history of sarcoidosis, an enigmatic multisystem disease, goes back to 1899, when the pioneering Norwegian dermatologist Caesar Boeck coined the term to describe skin nodules characterized by compact, sharply defined foci of “epithelioid cells with large pale nuclei and also a few giant cells.”1 Thinking this resembled sarcoma, he called the condition “multiple benign sarcoid of the skin.”
Since sarcoidosis was last reviewed in the Journal 10 years ago,2 more than 5000 articles related to this condition have been published. This review summarizes recent advances and addresses pitfalls in the diagnosis and treatment of sarcoidosis.
New England Journal of Medicine
Sarcoidosis is a disease that can affect any organ of the body. Very small clusters of inflammation or white cells, called granulomas, are seen in the organs affected with sarcoidosis. The lungs are the most common organs involved. These granulomas may clear up on their own, or cause permanent scarring.
National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado
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Contact Susan J. Keen,
RN, OCN at
CJW Med Center
email: Susan.Keen [at] hcahealthcare.com