Sarcoidosis: recurrence of primary disease in transplanted lungs

Radiology. 1994 Aug;192(2):461-4. doi: 10.1148/radiology.192.2.8029415.


Purpose: To assess findings of recurrent disease on thin-section computed tomographic (CT) studies and results of bronchoalveolar lavage and transbronchial biopsy (BAL-TBB) procedures performed in adult lung transplant recipients.

Materials and methods: Between 1990 and 1993, 32 single-lung, 14 double-lung, and three heart-lung transplantation procedures were performed in 47 patients; 176 thin-section CT scans were reviewed, with a mean follow-up of 18.9 months after transplantation.

Results: Sarcoidosis was diagnosed after BAL-TBB of the lung allografts 3 and 15 months after transplantation in both patients without symptoms who received transplants for treatment of sarcoidosis. In one patient, diffuse miliary nodules seen on chest radiographs and thin-section CT scans disappeared after administration of an increased dose of corticosteroids; in the other patient, no radiologic finding of sarcoidosis was present. No recurrence was seen in patients who received transplants for treatment of other diseases.

Conclusion: Recurrence of primary disease should be considered whenever abnormalities are seen on chest radiographs or thin-section CT scans. Sarcoidosis may recur with or without radiologic findings after transplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / diagnostic imaging
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / surgery*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed