"End-stage" pulmonary fibrosis in sarcoidosis

Mt Sinai J Med. 2009 Feb;76(1):30-6. doi: 10.1002/msj.20090.


Pulmonary fibrosis is an unusual "end stage" in patients with sarcoidosis. Fibrosis occurs in a minority of patients, and presents with a unique physiologic combination of airways dysfunction (obstruction) superimposed on the more common restrictive dysfunction. Imagin techniques are essential to the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of pulmonary fibrosis. Standard chest radiographs and CT scans may reveal streaks, bullae, cephalad retraction of the hilar areas, deviation of the trachea and tented diaphragm. Positive gallium and PET scans indicate residual reversible granulomatous disease and are important guides to therapy decisions. Treatment, usually with corticosteroids, is effective in those patients with positive scans, but fibrosis does not improve with any treatment. With severe functional impariment and patient disability, pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure may supervene for which the patient will require treatment. Oxygen, careful diuresis, sildenafil and bosentan may be salutary. These patients are candidates for lung transplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Causality
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / epidemiology*
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / genetics
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / therapy
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / epidemiology*
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / genetics
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / therapy
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed