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Sarcoidosis Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy Sarcoidosis is a chronic multisystem autoimmune disease which may affect many body systems. Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body's immune system, which is meant to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign product, malfunctions and produces antibodies against healthy tissue, cells and organs.

Most patients do not have any complaints but some experience difficulty in breathing particularly with heavy exercise. A few have a dry cough, muscle weakness, lethargy and listlessness.

Sarcoidosis is characterized by small round spots of granulated (dead) tissue. Sarcoidosis may be misdiagnosed as tuberculosis. It occurs predominantly between the ages of 20 and 40 years. There are about 25,000 cases in the United States, and the disease is most common in the southeast part of the U.S. In Sweden the disease affects 6.5 persons in 10,000. The disease varies in severity and may affect any part of the body. It is most common among people of northern European ancestry and Afro-Americans. Treatment involves the use of Prednisone and other corticosteroids.

Serum angiotensis converting enzyme (SACE) is primarily ordered to help diagnose and monitor sarcoidosis. It is often ordered as part of an investigation into the cause of a group of troubling chronic symptoms that may or may not be due to sarcoidosis. ACE will be elevated in 50% to 80% of patients with active sarcoidosis. Concentrations of ACE tend to rise and fall with disease activity. If it is initially elevated in someone with sarcoidosis, ACE can be ordered at regular intervals to monitor the course of the disease and the effectiveness of corticosteroid treatment.



The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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