Sarcoidosis is a chronic disease that can affect any organ in the body, but most commonly affects the lungs. Very small (microscopic) clusters of red and swollen tissue, also called inflammatory cells (or "granulomas"), are seen in the organs affected with sarcoidosis. These granulomas may clear up on their own. Other times the granulomas can be present and not cause major problems, although they can cause organ dysfunction, which can lead to scarring. There is no cure for sarcoidosis at this time. The disease can be treated and managed to minimize organ dysfunction (when the organ does not function properly).
National Jewish Health is currently involved in multiple areas of ongoing sarcoidosis research. Results of this research will be used to develop better ways to diagnose and treat people living with sarcoidosis.
Sarcoidosis is likely to have more than one cause, since not one single cause for the disease has been identified. Sarcoidosis can be triggered by infections or other environmental exposures.
Sarcoidosis is most common in young people between the ages of 20 and 40. However, it can affect any age group and race. About 10 to 40 of 100,000 people develop sarcoidosis. Sarcoidosis is not contagious.