Sarcoidosis | Diagnosis & Treatment

How is sarcoidosis diagnosed?

Since sarcoidosis can affect so many different parts of the body, and may have such varying symptoms in different people, diagnosing sarcoidosis is typically difficult and delayed.

The first step is to consider sarcoidosis as a possible cause of difficult-to-explain symptoms. Your child's physician will obtain a complete prenatal and birth history and ask if your child has had any recent colds or other infections. The diagnosis is usually confirmed through a combination of:

  • reported symptoms
  • laboratory tests - certain blood tests, for example, may help rule out other conditions that can mimic sarcoidosis
  • x-rays - a diagnostic test which uses electromagnetic energy to produce images of internal tissues, bones and organ on film
  • vision test/eye examination
  • biopsy - a small sample of areas thought to be affected by granulomas may be taken for microscopic examination to help confirm the presence of sarcoidosis

How is sarcoidosis treated?

Components of your child's treatment may include:

  • corticosteroid medications - taken orally, these medications reduce inflammation and help control severe symptoms

  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) - taken orally, these medications also help control inflammation and symptoms without some of the side effects of other steroids

  • other medications to reduce inflammation, swelling and pain, and to slow the progress of the disease

  • immunosuppressive medications to suppress the hyperactivity of the immune system that leads to autoimmunity

  • physical therapy to improve and maintain muscle and joint function

  • occupational therapy to improve and maintain your child's ability to perform activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing and using a computer

  • patient and family education to help you understand your child's condition and participate in her care and healing

  • psychosocial support for the emotional, mental and social health of both child and family. Support may include one-on-one counseling, support groups or referral to local and national resources.

What is the long-term outlook for a child with sarcoidosis?

Like the symptoms and treatments, the long-term outlook for sarcoidosis is very different for each person. Talk to your child's physician for more information about your unique situation.