What are the stages of pulmonary sarcoidosis?
We can use several imaging tests to diagnose sarcoidosis. These tests produce an image of the affected area and may be used to assign a stage to the disease. This is known as the siltzbach classification system.
The calssification concerns granulomas present in the lymph nodes and the lungs. Based on the location of granulomas, the classification can range pulmonary sarcoidosis from stage 0 to 4.
There are lymph nodes throughout the body, but most commonly affected are the so-called hilar and mediastinal lymph nodes in the lungs, and the paratracheal lymph nodes in the neck.
Here are the five stages of pulmonary sarcoidosis:
- Stage 0 (no pulmonary sarcoidosis): no sign of granulomas in the lungs or lymph nodes
- Stage 1 (lymphadenopathy): granulomas present in the lymph nodes only
- Stage 2 (lymphadenopathy and pulmonary infiltrates): granulomas present in both the lymph nodes and lungs
- Stage 3 (pulmonary infiltrates): granulomas present in the lungs only
- Stage 4 (pulmonary fibrosis): scarring of the lung tissue and permanent damage
These five stages do not indicate disease progression, but rather the areas affected by it. Stage 4 is the only irreversible stage. If the patient is diagnosed at stage 4, even if the granulomas are removed, the patient will still experience the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis.
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