Pulmonary vascular involvement in sarcoidosis: a report of 40 autopsy cases

Hum Pathol. 1992 Nov;23(11):1216-23. doi: 10.1016/0046-8177(92)90288-e.


We examined pulmonary vascular involvement in 40 autopsy cases of sarcoidosis. In these cases granulomatous involvement was observed at all levels from large elastic pulmonary arteries to venules, and venous involvement was more prominent than arterial involvement. The extent of granulomatous vascular involvement was related to that of parenchymal granuloma. No significant difference was found between upper and lower lobes in the incidence of granulomatous vascular involvement. The distribution of granulomata in the blood vessels was segmental and adventitial, and medial involvement was prominent in the larger vessels. Healed lesions of granulomatous vascular involvement also were observed at various levels in blood vessels. Prominent granulomatous involvement was found in the lymphatic capillaries and collecting lymphatic vessels in lungs with sarcoidosis. Serial sections of the lungs demonstrated interstitial granuloma directly connecting the lymphatic capillaries around small blood vessels. Granulomatous involvement in vasa vasorum and lymphatic capillaries is likely to be an important factor in the pathogenesis of granulomatous vascular involvement in lungs with sarcoidosis. The present study suggests that granulomatous vascular involvement and its sequelae may contribute to the development of pulmonary sarcoidosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Autopsy
  • Cardiomyopathies / drug therapy
  • Cardiomyopathies / pathology
  • Female
  • Granuloma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / drug therapy
  • Lung Diseases / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System Diseases / drug therapy
  • Nervous System Diseases / pathology
  • Sarcoidosis / drug therapy
  • Sarcoidosis / pathology*
  • Steroids / therapeutic use
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / pathology
  • Vascular Diseases / pathology*


  • Steroids