Lung sarcoidosis is a type of sarcoidosis that affects the lungs -- it is characterized by the formation of tiny lumps of cells in the lungs. Possible symptoms include shortness of breath, cough, and wheezing. Medications that suppress the immune system are often used to treat lung sarcoidosis. Patients often respond well to such treatment, but there is also a risk of side effects.
An Overview of Lung Sarcoidosis
Sarcoidosis is characterized by the formation of tiny lumps of cells in various organs in your body. Lung sarcoidosis is sarcoidosis that occurs in your lungs.
The lumps are called granulomas because they look like grains of sugar or sand. They are very small and can be seen only with a microscope.
These tiny granulomas can grow and clump together, making several larger groups of lumps. If many granulomas form in the lung, they can affect how the lung works, which can cause symptoms of lung sarcoidosis.
Lung sarcoidosis is not a form of cancer.
Phases of Lung Sarcoidosis
Lung sarcoidosis has an active and a nonactive phase:
- In the active phase of lung sarcoidosis, the granulomas form and grow. In this phase, symptoms can develop, and scar tissue can form in the lungs.
- In the nonactive phase of lung sarcoidosis, the inflammation goes down, and the granulomas stay the same size or shrink. However, the scars may remain and cause symptoms.
Cause of Lung Sarcoidosis
The cause of lung sarcoidosis is unknown. Doctors think that it may result when your immune system overreacts to some kind of foreign substance. Scientists also think that your immune system acts this way only if you have inherited a certain mix of genes.
There is no known way to prevent or cure lung sarcoidosis.