A number of different tests may be carried out to diagnose sarcoidosis, depending on which organs are affected. It is common to start with blood tests and a chest x-ray.
If the symptoms or chest x-ray suggest pulmonary sarcoidosis (sarcoidosis affecting the lungs), a computerised tomography (CT) scan of the chest looking at the lungs and lymph glands will be recommended. Breathing tests are also performed to measure lung capacity if the lungs are involved.
It is preferable to confirm the diagnosis with a biopsy. The recommended biopsy site will depend on which organs are involved and the ease and safety of the biopsy.
In pulmonary sarcoidosis affecting the lungs and/or lymph glands we often recommend a camera test (Bronchoscopy and/or Endobronchial Ultrasound) to examine the breathing tubes and lymph glands in the chest. This is done using a Bronchoscope, which is a long, thin, flexible tube with a video camera at the end, which is passed down your throat into the breathing tubes. A biopsy can be taken from the breathing tubes, the lung or lymph glands depending on where the best result will be obtained. The biopsy is then looked at under a microscope to see if the characteristic granulomas of sarcoidosis are seen.
If sarcoidosis affects other organs like the skin, kidneys, heart or eyes, further examination, scans or biopsies may be carried out.