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Sarcoidosis

Could My Symptoms Be Anything Other Than Sarcoidosis?

10/22/2008

Question:

I received a possible diagnosis of sarcoidosis based upon an elevated ACE count (82 out of a range of 0-62), an above normal rheumatoid factor and fatigue.

Could this be anything else besides sarcoidosis?

Answer:

Elevated levels of ACE are not specific for sarcoidosis, but can be helpful in the setting of other supportive information. ACE may also be elevated in the setting of certain infections or lymphoma. Usually, a tissue biopsy is needed to confirm the diagnosis of sarcoidosis. Since the lungs, eyes, lymph nodes and skin are commonly involved, a biopsy of one or more of these tissues may be indicated. Elevation of rheumatoid factor and fatigue are commonly associated with sarcoidosis, but are not diagnostic. For instance, elevated rheumatoid factor, fatigue and joint aches can be caused by rheumatoid arthritis. I would encourage you to seek the advice of your doctors to make sure that other potential causes are excluded. Sarcoidosis is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning that other potential causes should be considered before the diagnosis of sarcoidosis is made.

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Response by:

Elliott D Crouser, MD Elliott D Crouser, MD
Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University