REVIEW – April 2012

Pulmonary eosinophilia


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In pulmonary eosinophilia (PE), eosinophils are prominent cells that accumulate in the lung and the airways causing tissue injury. The PE comprises a heterogeneous group of diseases many of which are members of the groups of primarily non-eosinophilic conditions (e.g. vasculitis). The PEs are rare diseases of variable severity which usually have a rapid course. The diagnosis of PE is complicated mostly due to the low incidence of the disease and variable clinical symptoms and signs. Invasive methods including lung biopsy are often needed for final diagnosis. In practice, lung infiltrates and peripheral eosinophilia are frequently the f irst cues suggesting the clinical possibility of one of the PEs. However, bronchoalveolar lavage is the most widely accepted diagnostic approach. The majority of PEs almost always respond dramatically to systemic corticosteroids. An updated overview of the current classification of PE and a discussion of the major typical PE syndromes are provided along with a case report.