Sarcoidosis is a difficult disease to diagnose as the symptoms can be very similar to other diseases such as tuberculosis, lupus, arthritis and ME (myalgic encephalopathy).
Whilst there is no definitive test for sarcoidosis, a detailed medical history and physical examination by your doctor can lead to further diagnostic tests such as:
- Chest X-ray – This may identify enlarged glands or shadowing within the lungs.
- Blood Tests – To analyse blood cells and how they are functioning. Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) is specifically monitored as granulomas secrete ACE and levels are generally raised in patients with sarcoidosis.
- Pulmonary Function Tests (Lung Function Test) – To show how well the lungs are working.
- Computerised Tomography (CT) Scan – Which gives a more detailed picture of organs.
- Biopsy – Where a small piece of tissue is taken from the affected organ and examined under a microscope for granuloma formation.
- Bronchoscopy – A routine and generally uncomplicated investigation of the airways is undertaken. A small tube is passed through the mouth or nose into the lungs. Often a biopsy is taken during this procedure.
- Eye examination – Using a slit lamp to examine the inside of the eye.