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Ann Thorac Med. 2016 Jan-Mar;11(1):79-81. doi: 10.4103/1817-1737.164301.

Pulmonary sarcoidosis presenting with acute respiratory distress syndrome.

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Specialization School in Respiratory Diseases, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Italy.
Division of Diagnostic Radiology II, Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, Radiologic Sciences and Public Health, University of Brescia, Italy.
Division of Pulmonology, Cardiothoracic Department, Spedali Civili Hospital of Brescia, Italy.


Sarcoidosis is a common disease that involve almost constantly the lung. Usually the onset is insidious, and symptoms are slowly ingravescent. Very rarely, as in the case here reported, sarcoidosis can cause an acute respiratory failure with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). A 20-year-old girl from Pakistan presented for acute fatigue, fever, and cough with a chest X-ray displayed the micronodular interstitial disease. Despite of anti-tuberculosis therapy, ARDS developed in a few days requiring continuous positive airway pressure treatment. Examinations on transbronchial specimens obtained by bronchoscopy permitted to reach the diagnosis of sarcoidosis and steroid therapy improved rapidly clinical conditions. This is the first case report reported in Europe that confirms the rare onset of sarcoidosis as ARDS. Steroid therapy allows to cure rapidly this severe complication.


Acute respiratory distress syndrome; acute respiratory failure; sarcoidosis

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