Sarcoidosis is a complex inflammatory disease that can involve multiple areas of the body. It is caused when tiny clumps of cells—called granulomas—form in one or more organs, most commonly the lungs. These clumps can interfere with an organ’s structure and function. Left untreated, sarcoidosis can lead to fibrosis, which is permanent thickening or scarring of organ tissue.
Sarcoidosis affects patients in many ways and does not always progress at the same rate. In some cases, the disease may go away on its own and not cause serious damage to the body. In other cases, sarcoidosis may go into remission, a period when the disease no longer causes symptoms. For many patients, however, the disease can be ongoing and cause permanent damage to the body, organ failure and even death.