A comprehensive overview of sarcoidosis covering subjects like symptoms, diagnostics, research, causes and pictures
The sarcoidosis disease, known also as Boeck disease, is a rare disease with inflammatory origins, characterized by the formation of inflammatory nodules (granulomas) that may occur in virtually any organ.
Because the onsets of sarcoidosis disease have not been clarified until now, it is presumed that it is conditioned by environmental factors and genetic factors. About half of the cases have an asymptomatic evolution. The typology of symptoms depends on the organ that is affected. Most frequently affected organs by the sarcoidosis disease are the lungs; the problem can be spotted from a simple radiography.
Sarcoidosis disease can develop both acute and chronic. Acute sarcoidosis disease has a better prognosis and often heals without treatment and without complications. The prognosis for chronic sarcoidosis disease is serious. Patients usually respond well to treatment with corticosteroids. In some cases long time limitation of the pulmonary function can't be avoided. About 5% of patients suffering from the sarcoidosis disease die.
Sarcoidosis disease - Definition
Sarcoidosis is a chronic inflammatory disease, rare, affecting mainly the lungs and lymph nodes, but it can locoate itself anywhere in the body.
Because the sarcoidosis disease is characterized mainly by the presence of small collections called granulomas, the disease is called granulomatosis. Nodular formations consisting of granulation tissue is formed by activating the immune system.
Depending on the mechanism that causes immune activation, there are a variety of nodules, histologic whose structure differs: infectious granuloma in tuberculosis, rheumatic granuloma, etc. Characteristic for nodules of the sarcoidosis disease is that the epithelial cells and the macrophages may be highlighted, but the dead tissue I present (lacking central necrosis). Therefore, these nodules are called the granulomas without gasification.
Sarcoidosis disease - Prevalence
Annually 10 to 40 people (from 100,000) get sick of sarcoidosis disease. The disease occurs with predilection in the age range 20-40 years and affects more women than men. The sarcoidosis disease increases significantly in some populations groups (for example Afro-Americans) or in some countries like Sweden and Iceland, due to genetic or environmental factors.
Sarcoidosis disease - Aetiology
So far not clear cause for on setting the sarcoidosis disease has been established, but the action of several factors is suspected. These include:
The polluted air that enter the body through the respiratory route
In most patients the granulomas appear in the lung. Lung damage may be occur both at the onset of the disease and during the infection period, that is why the immune system that might be activated by inhalation of noxious substances. The specific substances that cause the sarcoidasis disease are yet to be identified, but many assumptions state that it could be bacteria, viruses, fungi, chemicals, pollen, dust.
Given that about 5% of cases of the sarcoidosis disease occur in the family, it is assumed that genetic factors play an important role in causing disease. Furthermore, it was found that the risk of sarcoidosis due to certain genetic mutations increases.
Sarcoidosis is a multi systemic disease that has unknown causes. It predominantly affects young and middle-aged adults, which present bilateral hilar adenopathy infiltrated in the lung, skin and eye damage. It may also affect the liver, spleen, lymph nodes, salivary glands, heart, nervous system, muscles, bones and other organs.
Sarcoidosis diagnosis is based on clinical and radiological tests. The determination of sarcoidosis is determined with the help of histologic epithelial cell granuloma without gasification. Granulomas that are the result from known causes and local sarcoidal reactions should be excluded.
Frequently observed immunologic features are represented by the delayed skin hypersensitivity and the increased ratio of helper cells (CD4) / suppressor cells (CD8) at the lesion.