Description, Causes and Risk Factors:
Eosinophilia is the formation and accumulation of an abnormally high number of eosinophils (a type of white blood cell) in the blood or body tissues. Eosinophils are created in the bone marrow and are found in the bloodstream and the gut lining. They contain proteins that help the body fight infection from parasitic organisms, such as worms
There are a variety of disorders that can cause eosinophilia ranging from simple hay fever to life-threatening tumor. Most common cause for eosinophilia are parasitic infections (such as hookworm, schistosomiasis), allergic conditions (such asthma and hay fever) and certain types of drug reactions. Few other rarer causes include:
Inflammation of blood vessels.
Certain malignant tumors (e.g., lymphoma).
Due to certain types of antibody deficiencies.
Certain types of skin diseases (e.g., dermatitis herpetiformis, etc). Eosinophilia in children is more difficult to diagnose as the range of probable causes is much wider in this case compared to adults.
Helminthic infections are the most common cause of eosinophilia Worldwide due to the high prevalence of helminthic parasite infections, several of which are estimated to involve hundreds of millions of people.
No racial and gender predilection exists for eosinophilia, although the occurrence of eosinophilia-associated helminthic parasitic infections is more common in certain geographic areas of the world.
This is a rare disorder and often the cause cannot be found. If you have the above risk factors, minimize your exposure to certain medicines and some metals that have been associated with eosinophilia. If this is the result of allergies, your doctor may perform skin or blood tests to confirm specific allergies and prescribe treatment to manage the symptoms.
Eosinophilia due to parasitic infection can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, cough, and rashes.
Eosinophilia due to medicine reaction mainly includesskin rashes.
Other symptoms include weight loss, night sweats, lymph node enlargement, numbness and tingling due to nerve damage.
Eosinophilia due to asthma can include wheezing and breathlessness.
Eosinophilia in the bloodstream can be diagnosed by a simple blood test. If problem exists in body tissues then diagnoses will involve examination of the relevant tissue. Your physician performs a biopsy of the relevant tissue in order to diagnose the condition. Certain times a lumber puncture is performed to examine spinal fluid if there are causes to suspect CSF eosinophilia.
Lab studies can be in the following lines:
A spinal fluid examination is carried out in order to diagnose eosinophilia due to worm infections.
Imaging studies can be carried out via CT scan of the lungs, abdomen, pelvis, etc depending on symptoms and cause of eosinophilia.
Bone marrow examination.
A complete blood count may be conducted in order to identify if problem exists.
In most cases treatments help to significantly reduce symptoms of eosinophilia enabling persons to lead normal life. Physician usually proceeds with the treatment primarily on lines of reducing symptoms. Allergic and connective tissue disorders may be amenable to corticosteroid treatment.
Choices for systemic treatment of primary eosinophilia with organ involvement initially include corticosteroids and interferon (IFN)-alpha for steroid resistant disease. Other agents for steroid resistant disease include hydroxyurea, chlorambucil, vincristine, cytarabine, 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine (2-CdA), and etoposide. These agents are usually given as chronic maintenance regimens to control organ involvement.
NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
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