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The chest radiograph and sarcoidosis. Reevaluation of the chest radiograph in assessing activity of sarcoidosis: a preliminary communication

B H Miller, C E Putman
Sarcoidosis 1985, 2 (2): 85-90
Classic radiographic staging of sarcoidosis, utilizing stages 0 through III, is a purely descriptive classification and bears no relation to the clinical activity of the disease. We propose a new method of determining sarcoidosis activity based solely on the chest radiograph. This "staging" is based on the presence or absence of air bronchograms, peribronchial cuffing, and subpleural thickening. Adenopathy, reticular, reticulonodular, and nodular opacities are not included in our methodology. Other diagnostic methods currently utilized for staging activity include Gallium scanning, bronchoalveolar lavage, and physiologic studies. In 85 studies performed in 51 patients with biopsy-proven sarcoidosis, this staging method agreed with Gallium scintigraphy results in 68.2%. The system failed in specific and identifiable subgroups of patients. We feel that the chest radiograph compares favorably with other staging methods in detecting the alveolitis phase of sarcoidosis, and is reproducible, noninvasive, and cost efficient.

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