The history of sarcoidosis begins in 1899 when the Norwegian dermatologist Ceasar Boeck described nodular skin lesions characterized by epitheloid cells and a few giant cells as multiple benign sarcoid of the skin. Now, many years later, a lot more is known about sarcoidosis. The definition of sarcoidosis is described in the American Thoracic Society statement on sarcoidosis in 1999: sarcoidosis is regarded as a multisystem disorder of unknown cause, commonly affecting young and middle aged adults, with bilateral hilar adenopathy, pulmonary infiltrates, eye and skin lesions. Also other organs like the liver, the spleen, lymph nodes, salivary glands, the heart, muscles, bones and the nervous system can be involved. The diagnosis is established when clinical and radiological findings are supported by histological evidence of non-caseating epitheloid cell granulomas. Granulomas caused by other diseases need to be excluded. Sarcoidosis affects people of all racial and ethnic groups and occurs at all ages although it usually develops before the age of 50 years, with a peak incidence at 20-39 years. The incidence of sarcoidosis varies widely all over the world with the highest incidence in the northern European countries. There is a predispondance of sarcoidosis in females. In America, the incidence of sarcoidosis in Afro-Americans is roughly three times higher compared to white americans. In black Americans the peak incidence occurs later in live and sarcoidosis is more often chronic and fatal.

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B.N.M. Lambrecht (Bart) , R.W. Hendriks (Rudi)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
AstraZeneca, The Netherlands
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

ten Berge, B. (2011, September 21). Dendritic Cells and T Lymphocytes in the Pathogenesis of Pulmonary Sarcoidosis. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from