What is the role of biopsy in the workup of sarcoidosis?

Updated: Jul 30, 2018
  • Author: Joseph F Merola, MD, MMSc; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

The skin is the most easily accessible tissue for biopsy and is extremely helpful in supporting the diagnosis of sarcoidosis. Biopsy of erythema nodosum, however, is less helpful as it is not specific for sarcoidosis. Biopsy specimens need to be sent for histologic examination, and staining may need to be performed to rule out infectious causes of granuloma formation, including mycobacterial and deep fungal infections. Tissue culture may be appropriate in some clinical settings, especially if fungal or atypical mycobacterial infections are suspected.


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