Purpose: To determine the first presenting signs or symptoms or other reasons leading to the diagnosis of sarcoidosis.
Methods: A retrospective review was made of the records of 123 consecutive Japanese patients with histopathological diagnosis of sarcoidosis seen at a referral-based university hospital.
Results: At the first presentation, eye symptoms in 32 patients, abnormal chest X-ray findings in 52 patients, common cold-like symptoms in 12 patients, lymphadenopathy in 6 patients, skin lesions in 14 patients, and examinations for other diseases in 4 patients led to the final diagnosis. Overall, uveitis was detected in 60 patients (50%) during the follow-up.
Conclusions: Mass screening programs of chest X-rays are the major way sarcoidosis is detected in Japan. Uveitis is seen in about half the patients during the course of sarcoidosis, and eye symptoms are frequent first presentations of sarcoidosis. These facts emphasize the role of ophthalmologists in the diagnosis and management of sarcoidosis.