Sarcoidosis is a systemic granulomatous disease of unknown etiology that primarily affects the lung and the lymph nodes.1 Since its first description in 1877 by John Hutchinson,2 its clinical and pathologic complexities have continued to challenge clinicians and pathologists. The term sarcoid comes from the description by Boeck,3 who, in 1899, described the lesions as “benign forms of sarcoma,” implying the lesion is a neoplasm. In the subsequent 100 years, physicians and scientists have tried with little success to clarify both the etiologic agent and the clinical features of the disease. In an attempt to guide diagnosis and treatment and to promote scientific research, the American Thoracic Society (ATS) formed an expert panel that proposed adoption of standard diagnostic criteria. The panel defined the disease as follows:

Sarcoidosis is a multisystem disorder of unknown cause(s). It commonly affects young and middle-aged adults and frequently presents with bilateral hilar lymphadenopathy, pulmonary infiltration, ocular and skin lesions. The liver, spleen, lymph nodes, salivary glands, heart, nervous system, muscles, bones, and other organs may also be involved. The diagnosis is established when clinicoradiologic findings are supported by histologic evidence of noncaseating epithelioid cell granulomas.4


Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Respir Crit Human Leukocyte Antigen Class Open Lung Biopsy Pulmonary Sarcoidosis 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol F. Farver
    • 1
  1. 1.Pulmonary Pathology, Department of Anatomic PathologyThe Cleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA

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