Pulmonary sarcoidosis

Clin Chest Med. 1997 Dec;18(4):755-85. doi: 10.1016/s0272-5231(05)70417-2.


Sarcoidosis involves the bronchi or lung in more than 90 percent of patients. Intrathoracic manifestations are protean, ranging from asymptomatic bilateral hilar lymphadenopathy to chronic, progressive, (ultimately fatal), respiratory insufficiency. The clinical course is highly variable, and optimal management and treatment are controversial. We review the salient radiographic, physiologic, and histopathologic features of pulmonary sarcoidosis and discuss rare intrathoracic complications (e.g., bronchostenosis, mycetomas, nodular sarcoidosis, necrotizing sarcoid angiitis and granulomatosis, pulmonary vascular and pleural involvement). We discuss the chest radiographic staging system and the role of ancillary diagnostic modalities including high resolution thin section computed tomographic scans (HRCT), bronchoalveolar lavage, radionuclide scan, and serum angiotensin enzyme converting enzyme. Indications for therapy and an overview of therapeutic options are outlined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bronchoscopy
  • Humans
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis*
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / therapy