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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.
- 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 CenterCall (585) 275-4161
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:
- Mycophenolate mofetil
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.
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