Research over the past decade has advanced our understanding of the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis and provided new insights into potential causes of this disease. It is important to remember that any etiologic agent of sarcoidosis must be capable of causing the pathologic hallmark of systemic noncaseating granulomas and the heterogeneous clinical features of sarcoidosis. In addition, etiologic agents must be compatible with immunologic features, including polarized T-helper 1 cytokine profiles and oligoclonal T cell expansions consistent with antigen driven processes. Yet, even with studies conducted in this disease, there remains a lack of consensus on the etiology of sarcoidosis. This challenge is likely to be overcome only with additional research that incorporates clinical, genetic, immunologic, environmental, and microbiologic profiles in groups of patients, supplemented with testing of candidate pathogenic agents in experimental models that recapitulate critical features of this disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine