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Sarcoidosis with multiorgan involvement
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  • Published on:
    coexistence of tuberculosis and sarcoidosis needs to be ruled out

    Given the fact that tuberculosis and sarcoidosis have many stigmata in common (including the occurrence of noncaseating granulomas), a diagnosis of multiorgan sarcoidosis (1) can only be established beyond doubt if care has been taken to rule out the coexistence of sarcoidosis and tuberculosis using the strictest criteria for ruling in or for ruling out tuberculosis. Evaluating tissue samples for M tuberculosis through the use of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is one such strategy, given the fact that sensitivity for M tuberculosis infection is significantly higher for PCR than for BACTEC radiometric culture (74.4% vs 55.8%), although the two modalities have comparable specificity, namely, 97.2% vs 100% (no significant difference) (2). Accordingly, when the authors state "All biopsy specimens and bronchial washings were negative for TB (1), we need to know whether those samples were subjected either to mycobacterial culture or to evaluation by PCR.
    The coexistence of sarcoidosis and tuberculosis was documented unequivocally in a 35 year old woman who initially presented with histologically and bacteriologically confirmed tuberculous lymphadenitis. She subsequently developed bilateral lung infiltrates. Histological specimens obtained via transbronchial biopsy and open lung biopsy showed features consistent with sarcoidosis. In addition, however, the presence of mycobacterial DNA in those tissue specimens was documented by PCR (3).
    In another report, a...

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