Cellular components of the bronchoalveolar lavage correlate with lung function impairment and extrapulmonary involvement markers in active sarcoidosis
Sarcoidosis is a chronic inflammatory multiorgan disease of unknown origin. Our previous study demonstrated a significant correlation between the relative count of nonCD4+, nonCD8+ lymphocytes in bronchoalveolar lavage of active sarcoidosis patients and proangiogenic activity of BAL homogenates. The aim of the present study was to evaluate in a group of 40 patients with active sarcoidosis the possible relationship between the intensity of alveolitis, particularly the nonCD4+, nonCD8+ lymphocyte subset, and other parameters characterizing the level of pulmonary (lung function tests) and extrapulmonary (spleen longitudinal dimension) disease activity. We found that the relative count of nonCD4+, nonCD8+ lymphocytes in BAL correlated positively with spleen size (r=0.50, P<0.01) and negatively with static compliance (r=0.43, P<0.05). We concluded that the lymphocytes belonging to the nonCD4+nonCD8+ subset participate in the inflammatory process in sarcoidosis. However, more detailed phenotypic and functional characteristics of this cellular population are needed.