What is sarcoidosis?

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Sarcoidosis (sar-koy-DO-sis) is a disease of unknown cause that leads to inflammation. This disease affects your body’s organs.

Normally, your immune system defends your body against foreign or harmful substances. For example, it sends special cells to protect organs that are in danger.

These cells release chemicals that recruit other cells to isolate and destroy the harmful substance. Inflammation occurs during this process. Once the harmful substance is gone, the cells and the inflammation go away.

In people who have sarcoidosis, the inflammation doesn’t go away. Instead, some of the immune system cells cluster to form lumps called granulomas (gran-yu-LO-mas) in various organs in your body.

Source: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (a unit of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services). Click here to read more.

Brochures about sarcoidosis can be ordered or downloaded via the website of the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.