Sarcoidosis is a rare, inflammatory disease that results in granulomas (small, rounded growths) that can appear anywhere in the body. In children, these granulomas are usually found on the skin, at the joints, or in the eyes. The lungs, lymph nodes, and other organs can also be affected. Sarcoidosis may be a temporary condition for some children where it resolves on its own as children grow out of the condition. Others may suffer from sarcoidosis for their entire lives.
Sarcoidosis Causes & Symptoms
The cause of sarcoidosis most often remains unknown. In some children, it can be an extreme autoimmune reaction to an infection, chemical, medication, or other drug.
Since the granulomas can appear anywhere inside or on the body, symptoms can vary widely depending on the location where they are forming.
Here are examples of some symptoms commonly cited:
- Chest pain or shortness of breath
- Coughing up blood
- Joint aches and pains
- Rash or red, raised bumps on the skin
- Scars that become raised or inflamed
- Vision loss
- Burning or discharge from eyes
- Fainting or abnormal heartbeat
- Weakness on one side of the face
A diagnosis can be confirmed by a pediatric rheumatologist following a series of physical assessments. Tests that might be used to diagnose sarcoidosis include:
- CT scan
- Electrocardiogram, or EKG, to monitor the heart
- Blood tests to detect autoimmune deficiencies
A surgical biopsy of granulomas may also be recommended.
Pediatric Sarcoidosis Treatment in Austin & Cedar Park, TX
Fortunately, about half of all cases of pediatric sarcoidosis resolve on their own over time as the child matures. More severe cases can be treated with medications, typically corticosteroids, to manage inflammation and future growth of granulomas.