Welcome to the Sarcoidosis Program at BMC

The Sarcoidosis Program is a multidisciplinary program providing diagnostic and therapeutic services for patients suffering with sarcoidosis: a multisystem disease of unknown origin. For more than 20 years, the clinic has worked to improve patients’ lives by providing state-of-the-art clinical care, coupled with innovative research aimed at understanding the history and development of this disease. The Program’s team of specialists also offers qualified patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials as they seek breakthroughs in managing – and curing – sarcoidosis.

The clinic has approximately 1,000 visits annually from sarcoidosis patients who come from all over New England and beyond. Boston Medical Program’s Sarcoidosis Program is one of the largest programs of its kind on the East Coast.

About Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis was identified in the late 1860s. It is an inflammatory disease that affects one or more organs but most commonly affects the lungs and lymph glands. This inflammation produces tiny lumps of cells in various organs in the body. The lumps are called granulomas because they look like grains of sugar or sand. They are the classic sign of sarcoidosis, and as they are very small, they can only be seen with a microscope.

These tiny granulomas can grow and clump together, making small and large groups of lumps. If many granulomas form in an organ, they can change its normal structure and possibly affect how the organ works. Sarcoidosis can affect many organs, but it usually starts in the lungs or the lymph nodes.

The exact cause of sarcoidosis is not known, but researchers believe that it is caused by an abnormal immune response. The disease can appear suddenly and then disappear, or it can develop gradually and produce symptoms that come and go for a lifetime.

Symptoms

While some patients with sarcoidosis may show no signs of the disease, there are many associated symptoms.

  • General
    • Dry mouth
    • Fever
    • Weight loss
    • Fatigue
    • Night sweats
    • Swollen and painful joints
    • Nasal stuffiness
    • Hoarse voice
    • Pain in the hands, feet, or other bony areas
    • General feeling of ill health
  • Skin
    • Reddish bumps or patches on the skin or under the skin
  • Lungs
    • Shortness of breath
    • Cough that won’t go away
    • Chest pain
  • Eyes
    • Red or teary eyes
    • Blurred vision
  • Neurologic/Nervous System
    • Gait problems
    • Headache
    • Meningitis
  • Lymph glands
    • Enlarged lymph glands in the chest around the lungs and elsewhere in the body
  • Cardiac
    • Development of abnormal or missed beats (arrhythmias), inflammation of the covering of the heart (pericarditis), or heart failure
  • Kidney
    • Kidney stones

Contact Us

Treatments & Services

Sarcoidosis Treatment Options

There is no cure for sarcoidosis, but there are many different treatment options for patients. The focus of treatment is to improve symptoms and improve quality of life. While some achieve remission, the majority of patients learn management methods for what is a chronic condition.

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Diagnostics and Tests

Diagnosing Sarcoidosis

Because the symptoms may occur in other diseases and there is no single lab test that can diagnose the disease, diagnosis of sarcoidosis may be difficult. Further, determining the presence of granulomas isn’t enough, as they do not differ from granulomas that occur in other diseases.

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Our Team

Jeffrey S Berman, MD

Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
Director Emeritus, Sarcoidosis Center

Special Interests

Sarcoidosis (All manifestations)

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Praveen Govender, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
Director, Sarcoidosis Center

Special Interests

Sarcoidosis (All manifestations), Hypersenstivity pneumonitis, Interstitial Lung Diseases, Allergy & Immunology

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Pria Anand, MD

Assistant Professor, Boston University School of Medicine

Special Interests

Hospital-Based Neurology, Neuro-Infectious Diseases, Autoimmune Encephalitis, HIV, General Neurology

Arlene Dermovsesian, NP

Cardiologist

Special Interests

Arrhythmia, Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator, Pacemaker, Atrial Fibrillation

Michelle Y Kaku, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Massachusetts

Special Interests

Disorders of the muscle and nerve, electrodiagnostic medicine, botulinum toxin administration

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Elizabeth S Klings, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston MA

Special Interests

Pulmonary complications of sickle cell disease, Pulmonary Hypertension, Chronic dyspnea

Christina Lam, MD

Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston MA

Special Interests

Lupus, Dermatomyositis, Scleroderma, Morphea, Vasculitis

Kara C LaMattina, MD

Ophthalmologist

Special Interests

Pediatric Ophthalmology, Strabismus, Pediatric and Adult Uveitis, Pediatric and Adult Cataracts, Pediatric Glaucoma

Tracey M Lavey, NP

Clinical Associate in Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston MA

Special Interests

Adult Cardiology, Arrhythmias/Electrophysiology, Pacemaker/ICD Device , Arrhythmias, Nurse Practitioner

Sergi Martinez-Ramirez, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Department of Neurology

Special Interests

Vascular Neurology, Neuroimmunology, Neurosarcoidosis, General Neurology, Comprehensive Neurology

Mary A Morabito, NP

Clinical Associate of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston MA

Special Interests

Cardiac electrophysiology

Michael P Platt, MD, MSc

Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery
Residency Program Director

Special Interests

Sinusitis, Nasal Polyps, CSF Leak, Sinus Mass, Deviated Septum

Nicole H Siegel, MD

Ophthalmologist

Special Interests

Ophthalmology, Retinal and Vitreoretinal Medical and Surgical Diseases, Diabetic Eye Disease, Macular Degeneration, Uveitis and Inflammatory Disorders of the Eye

Derin Tugal, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Cardiac Electrophysiologist and Cardiologist

Special Interests

Cardiac Sarcoidosis, Cardiac Arrhythmias and Ablation, Implantable Device Therapy, Cardiology

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Lan Zhou, MD, PhD

Special Interests

Neuropathy, Myopathy, Radiculopathy, Plexopathy, Myasthenia Gravis

Photograph of Dr. Lan Zhou

Shuhan Zhu, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Massachusetts

Special Interests

Headaches, migraine

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Patient Resources

Sarcoidosis Frequently Asked Questions

Because the signs and symptoms of sarcoidosis can resemble other diseases, the diagnosis of sarcoidosis can be difficult to make. The Sarcoidosis Program at BMC can help determine if you have the disease.

Provider Resources