Diagnosis & Treatment

To determine if you have sarcoidosis, your doctor will take a detailed medical history, perform a physical exam, and conduct tests. Because the cause of sarcoidosis is uncertain, tests can rule out that symptoms are the result of another condition.

In most patients, a definitive diagnosis of sarcoidosis requires a biopsy, with a tissue sample taken from the skin, lymph node, or lung to determine if granulomas are present. The Kveim-Siltzbach skin test can also be used to diagnose sarcoidosis. Mount Sinai is the only place in the United States offering the Kveim-Siltzbach test, which is diagnostic in up to 80 percent of our patients and eliminates the need for more invasive, uncomfortable, and expensive procedures.

Once the diagnosis of sarcoidosis is confirmed, additional tests are used to determine the extent of the illness, the need for treatment, and that treatment’s anticipated results. Because the lungs are most often involved, sequential test results evaluate breathing function.

Diagnostic tests typically include:

  • Chest CT scan and chest X-ray, which show how the lungs look
  • Pulmonary function testing, which shows how the lungs work
  • Additional blood tests to determine if organs other than the lungs are affected by sarcoidosis and the organs’ functioning
  • Urinalysis and blood tests to measure calcium levels, that if elevated, indicate possible kidney difficulties
  • Other tests such as echocardiograms, Holter monitoring, CT scans, PET scans, and MRI scans as needed

Depending on each patient’s test results, our sarcoidosis physicians will recommend the appropriate treatment option.