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What causes sarcoidosis?

The exact cause of sarcoidosis is not known. As with many inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, it often seems to be triggered by a bacterial or viral infection. In some cases, sarcoidosis is considered an autoimmune disorder. This means that the body's usual system of organs and cells designed to attack outside invaders, such as bacteria and viruses, begins to attack the body's healthy tissues. Although sarcoidosis is not a contagious disease, in some cases it tends to occur within families. Researchers are continuing to study the role that genes inherited from the mother and father play in increasing the chances of developing autoimmune disorders. Sarcoidosis is currently thought to be associated with an abnormal immune response. Whether a foreign substance is the trigger; whether that trigger is a chemical, drug, virus or other substance; and how exactly the immune disturbance is caused remain unknown. Sarcoidosis may be one common end-point caused by multiple different triggers.

 

More information on sarcoidosis

What is sarcoidosis? - Sarcoidosis is a multisystem granulomatous disorder of unknown etiology, characterized histologically by noncaseating epithelioid granulomas involving various organs.
What causes sarcoidosis? - The exact cause of sarcoidosis is not known. Sarcoidosis is currently thought to be associated with an abnormal immune response.
Who is at risk of sarcoidosis? - Sarcoidosis is more commonly seen in blacks than whites, primarily people of northern European decent in the latter case.
What are the symptoms of sarcoidosis? - Symptoms of sarcoidosis include dry cough, shortness of breath, skin lesions, renal, liver and heart involvement, neuropathy.
How is sarcoidosis diagnosed? - The diagnosis of sarcoidosis is based on the patient's medical history, physical examination, laboratory tests, lung function studies, and chest x-ray.
What is the treatment for sarcoidosis? - The most effective treatment for sarcoidosis is the administration of steroid medications. Sarcoidosis responds very well to steroids.
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