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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Sarcoidosis in southern Taiwan

Chao-Chien Wu, Chien-Hung Chin, Yung-Fa Lai, Ji-Chen Ho
Journal of the Formosan Medical Association 2002, 101 (11): 803-5
12517063

PURPOSE: To investigate the disease characteristics of sarcoidosis in southern Taiwan, and to investigate diagnostic methods.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all patients diagnosed with sarcoidosis at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, from March 1988 to February 2002.

RESULTS: A total of 12 patients (3 men, 9 women), with a mean age of 44.5 years, and a diagnosis of sarcoidosis by positive histology and either a typical chest roentgenogram or clinical presentation were included. All 12 patients had intrathoracic involvement (hilar or mediastinal lymph nodes, 12; lungs, 5), eight had skin involvement, and two had extrathoracic lymph node involvement. The most frequent biopsy specimens were from the skin (n = 10), followed by the intrathoracic lymph nodes (n = 4), lungs (n = 2), and extrathoracic lymph nodes (n = 2). Four patients had positive biopsies from two organs. Our data showed an older age distribution and a greater female predominance of the disease compared with Western countries. A higher rate of intrathoracic and skin involvement was also found, but the reason for this was not clear.

CONCLUSIONS: Greater awareness of possible skin involvement may enable chest physicians and clinical practitioners to suspect this condition earlier. A histologic diagnosis from skin biopsy should then be made, rather than using more invasive procedures.

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