Researchers Come Up With Simple Blood Test For Quick Sarcoidosis Detection

Despite the precise reason for sarcoidosis remaining uncertain, scientists believe it to be an immune system malfunction that is activated by a set of particular antigens.
Researchers Come Up With Simple Blood Test For Quick Sarcoidosis Detection
Researchers Come Up With Simple Blood Test For Quick Sarcoidosis DetectionREPRESENTATIVE

A study has developed a tool that can quickly and affordably diagnose sarcoidosis, a long-term inflammatory condition characterized by the development of small lumps called granulomas in the lungs and other organs.

The method, which involves a basic blood test, could potentially enable the targeted utilization of more invasive diagnostic tests that are typically used to detect the illness. The findings were published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

"Currently, diagnosing sarcoidosis isn't a straightforward process and requires tissue removal and testing with additional screenings to rule out other diseases, such as tuberculosis or lung cancer," said James Kiley, Ph.D., director of the NIH's Division of Lung Diseases at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

"Using a blood test will help diagnose faster, particularly in those organs that are more challenging to biopsy and with less harm to the patient."

Despite the precise reason for sarcoidosis remaining uncertain, scientists believe it to be an immune system malfunction that is activated by a set of particular antigens. These antigens are typically foreign substances that provoke an immune reaction in the body. Previous studies indicate that approximately 8-11 individuals per 100,000 in the United States are impacted by sarcoidosis annually.

To detect antigens and establish potential connections to sarcoidosis, researchers obtained samples of lung fluid and blood cells from individuals diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis. They subsequently extracted the genetic material from these samples.

By employing various molecular methods, the scientists focused their attention on two recently identified biomarkers that are specific to the disease and only interact with the antibodies found in patients diagnosed with sarcoidosis.

Next, they developed a blood test that is very targeted and precise. This test only needs a small blood sample to determine if sarcoidosis can be accurately detected. To confirm the reliability of the test, the researchers analyzed blood samples from 386 individuals. This group consisted of people with sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, lung cancer, as well as healthy individuals.

The researchers verified that their examination successfully distinguished between patients suffering from sarcoidosis and those with different respiratory illnesses.

"More testing needs to be completed before this screening method is ready for clinical use, but it's possible that could be a reality within a few years," said Samavati.

"Dr. Samavati's important work is an excellent example of how scientific research can have promising results that may lead to addressing major health challenges," said Ezemenari M. Obasi, Ph.D., vice president for research at Wayne State University.

"I look forward to the potential impact this research will have on the lives of those inflicted with sarcoidosis."

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