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Sarcoidosis following Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection: Coincidence or consequence.

Research paper by J W T JW van Enschot, R H H RH van Balkom

Indexed on: 01 Jan '13Published on: 01 Jan '13Published in: Respiratory Medicine Case Reports



Abstract

We describe the case of a 47-year-old Caucasian male patient who developed sarcoidosis 18 months after he was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis for which he was treated according to guidelines. The presentation of sarcoidosis was very similar to his first presentation when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Mycobacterium tuberculosis as a possible aetiological agent in sarcoidosis has been point of debate since many years and has been studied thoroughly. Recent advances in immunologic and molecular techniques have strengthened the association between mycobacteria and sarcoidosis.(1) Sarcoidosis is a systemic inflammatory disorder of unknown aetiology, characterised by the presence of non-caseating epitheloid cell granulomas. It is generally agreed that this is a tissue reaction to environmental agents in a genetically susceptible individual.(2) Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by M. tuberculosis and characterised by caseating granulomas. In both clinical and histopathological features sarcoidosis is remarkably similar to tuberculosis and therefore can be difficult to distinguish. First, this case report demonstrates the need of diagnostic testing when reactivation of tuberculosis is suspected. And second the role of M. tuberculosis in the aetiology of sarcoidosis will be discussed.