Like sarcoidosis, it is characterized by patches of inflammatory cells called granulomas in various organs and tissues. However, Löfgren syndrome patients usually do not develop long-term or chronic sarcoidosis, and show little or no organ damage.
Löfgren syndrome usually resolves within six months to two years of diagnosis, sometimes without treatment.
The exact cause of Löfgren syndrome, and of sarcoidosis in general, is not known. It is thought to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors, such as allergens, viruses, or bacteria.
Löfgren syndrome symptoms
The symptoms of Löfgren syndrome are similar to those of sarcoidosis. They include:
- Fatigue, low energy, and listlessness (including malaise)
- Arthritis or other joint pains
- Swollen and inflamed salivary glands
- Inflammation of the eyes
- Swollen or enlarged lymph nodes in the chest (hilar lymphadenopathy)
- Red, painful bumps on the skin, usually on the front of the legs (erythema nodosum).
For reasons not fully understood, skin symptoms often indicate a condition that goes away on its own.
Diagnosing Löfgren syndrome
The combination of fever, fatigue, arthritis, and skin symptoms, along with swollen lymph nodes, can usually be linked to Löfgren syndrome.
Löfgren’s can be further confirmed through medical tests. For example, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the chest can help to detect any granulomas in organs like the lungs and enlarged lymph nodes in the chest — both key indicators of Löfgren’s syndrome and other forms of sarcoidosis.
High blood levels of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), an enzyme that causes the blood vessels to constrict, increasing blood pressure and inflammation, can also indicate the presence of this disease.
High levels of calcium, a mineral important to bone strength and nerve function, may be present in the blood as well. But calcium levels can also be affected by diet.
Treating Löfgren syndrome
Löfgren’s syndrome typically goes away on its own within a few months to a year with or without treatment. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and acetaminophen, corticosteroids or other steroidal drugs, and colchicine can be used to reduce pain and inflammation.
Prognosis in Löfgren syndrome
Prognosis is typically quite good, with a very low risk of Löfgren syndrome turning into chronic sarcoidosis.
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