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Lung diseases

Sarcoid and Reactive Protein

03/08/1999

Question:

I am writing with a sarcoidosis question. I am a 49 yr.old woman who has had sarcoid since Aug.1997. I have had numerous problems wth this disease but I am writng about a recient hospitalization for severe inflamation. The C Reactive Protein test came back at 54 in my blood. Is this due to the sarcoid? I am currently on steroids and methotrexate. I also am on meds for arthritis and high cholesterol. Thank You.

Answer:

The c-reactive protein is a nonspecific measure of inflammation. Other measures include the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). It is not specific for sarcoidosis, but in a patient with sarcoidosis, an elevated level implies continued disease activity.

The angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) level is more specific for sarcoid, but can go back to normal when the disease is still active. Also, only 60% of patients have an initially elevated ACE level and only 20% have an elevated level after two years of disease, even if they are still sick from their sarcoidosis.

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Response by:

Robert P Baughman, MD
Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati