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The goals with testing are to diagnose sarcoidosis, evaluate its severity, and to monitor its course over time. Testing is also used to distinguish sarcoidosis from conditions with similar symptoms and from conditions that are also associated with the development of granulomas – such as tuberculosis and some fungal infections.

Laboratory Tests

Tissue biopsy is the primary test used to confirm a diagnosis of sarcoidosis; characteristic changes in the structure of the tissue can be seen under the microscope. Other laboratory tests are not specific for sarcoidosis, but they are helpful in assessing disease activity, looking for damage to individual organs, and ruling out other diseases that may cause similar problems Tests that may be ordered include:

Non-Laboratory Tests

  • X-ray - one of the primary tests used to detect lung involvement; granulomas may be initially detected in people without symptoms who have an X-ray for another reason.
  • Lung function tests are performed to evaluate lung involvement, lung capacity, and condition severity. (For more on these, visit the Johns Hopkins Medicine Pulmonary Function Laboratory website.)
  • CT (Computed Tomography), MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), gallium scan, or other imaging scans are sometimes ordered to help diagnose and evaluate sarcoidosis. (Visit for additional details on these imaging tests.)
  • EKG (electrocardiogram) - sometimes ordered when heart involvement is suspected.

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