Author(s): Belfer MH, Stevens RW
Sarcoidosis is a multisystemic disorder of unknown etiology that most commonly affects adults between 20 and 40 years of age. Patients with sarcoidosis frequently present with bilateral hilar lymphadenopathy and pulmonary infiltration, and often with ocular and skin lesions. The diagnosis is established when clinical and radiographic findings are supported by histologic evidence of non-caseating epithelioid cell granulomas found on tissue biopsy. Diagnosis of sarcoidosis requires exclusion of other causes of granuloma formation. Sarcoidosis is also characterized by distinctive laboratory abnormalities, including hyperglobulinemia, an elevated serum angiotensin converting enzyme level, evidence of depressed cellular immunity manifested by cutaneous anergy and, occasionally, hypercalcemia and hypercalciuria. Glucocorticoids remain the mainstay of therapy when treatment is required, although other anti-inflammatory agents are being used increasingly often.