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Nihon Jibiinkoka Gakkai Kaiho. 2013 May;116(5):592-9.

[A clinical study on 8 cases of sarcoidosis with a cervical mass as a symptom].

[Article in Japanese]

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Department of Otolaryngology, Southern TOHOKU Research Institute for Neuroscience.


Sarcoidosis is a multiorgan granulomatous disease of unknown origin, which frequently involves the lung and the eyes. It is rare that sarcoidosis causes cervical lymphadenopathy and a chronic continuous salivary gland swelling. In the present study, we examined how to diagnose sarcoidosis in patients complaining of a cervical mass and its clinical presentation according to 8 cases which we experienced. We undertook biopsy of the cervical lymph nodes in 7 cases, and biopsy of the parotid gland in 1 case. In cases non-caseating epithelioid cell granuloma was proved, diagnosed as sarcoidosis histopathlogically. In 6 patients, the sarcoidal lesion was in other organs, whereas in 2 patients the sarcoidal lesion was confined in the head and neck. Bilateral hilar lymphadenopathy and an elevated level of angiotensin-converting enzyme which are typical in sarcoidosis were confirmed in only one of our patients. Therefore, the diagnostic value of these tests is low for the diagnosis of sarcoidosis in the patients whose chief complaint is a cervical mass. Because 4 out of 7 cases were positive for the tuberculin test, it is imperative to distinguish between sarcoidosis and cervical tuberculous lymphadenitis by combining the culture of acid-bacilli and TB-PCR with histopathological evaluation of the biopsy specimen. We experienced one patient in whom the sarcoidal lesion developed in the skin and the eyes 20 years after the onset of cervical lymphadenopathy. It is important to follow the patients carefully, even if we diagnose the disease as sarcoidosis confined in the head and neck.

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