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What is Sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis is the growth of inflammatory cells, known as granulomas, that can deposit in different organs of the body. Sarcoidosis can affect your lungs, heart, eyes, skin, kidneys, liver, and other organs. It may be caused by an immune response to an unidentified trigger.

Symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Abnormally fast or slow heart rhythms
  • Fatigue, weakness
  • Dizziness, fainting
  • Weight loss
  • Chest pain

The vast majority of patients have a mild form of the disease and might not need treatment. Sarcoidosis is fatal in roughly 5% of patients, with pulmonary and cardiac sarcoidosis the most common causes of death.

Make Referrals to the Pulmonary Center

Call (585) 275-4161

Diagnosing Sarcoidosis

Cardiac sarcoidosis can be difficult to diagnose. Our multidisciplinary team works together to find potential sites outside the heart for biopsy when sarcoidosis is suspected.

In some cases, a biopsy of the heart may be used to make a definite diagnosis. However, since the granulomas are randomly distributed in the heart, a cardiac biopsy may show an abnormality in only 30-50% of patients with cardiac sarcoidosis.

Other tests that are used to help diagnose sarcoidosis include:

  • EKG and Holter Monitor (to detect abnormally slow or fast rhythms)
  • Echocardiogram (to evaluate cardiac function)
  • Cardiac MRI (to look for scarring)
  • Cardiac PET scan (to look for inflammation)
  • Biopsy of organs other than the heart

UR Medicine's Treatments for Sarcoidosis

Treatment is needed when there is risk of organ failure and/or if symptoms are affecting a patient’s quality of life. The goal of treatment is to prevent damage to organs. To treat active inflammation, we use immunosuppressive medications, such as:

  • Steroids
  • Mycophenolate mofetil
  • Methotrexate
  • Azathioprine
  • Infliximab

Each treatment is tailored to the individual patient.

What Sets Us Apart?

We are the region’s only certified WASOG (World Association of Sarcoidosis and Other Granulomatous Disorders) Center of Excellence—one of only 33 programs in the nation and fewer than 50 centers around the world. 


Our care team is here for you. Find a UR Medicine expert and get care now.

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We serve you in the Rochester metropolitan area and surrounding region.

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4 locations

Cardiac Care

2400 South Clinton Avenue
Rochester, NY 14618

Pulmonary Clinic

601 Elmwood Avenue, 3rd Floor
Rochester, NY 14642

Pulmonary Clinic

Marilyn Sands Outpatient Clinic, 395 West Street, Door 20
Canandaigua, NY 14424

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

7309 Seneca Road North, Suite 104
Hornell, NY 14843

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