Churg-Strauss Syndrome

Also known as allergic angiitis or allergic granulomatosis, Churg-Strauss syndrome is a condition in which the blood vessels become inflamed and nodular lesions develop. This condition restricts blood flow throughout the body, potentially causing damage to blood-starved organs. Churg-Strauss syndrome is a rare condition that is not inherited nor transmissible. Since Churg-Strauss syndrome has many different symptoms, it is often difficult to diagnose.

Symptoms of Churg-Strauss Syndrome

The symptoms of Churg-Strauss syndrome vary from person to person and may include the following:

  • Allergic reactions, such as hay fever, asthma, and sinusitis
  • Hypereosinophilia, an abnormally high white blood cell count
  • Fatigue, coughing, abdominal pain, or fever
  • Systemic vasculitis including rashes, difficulty breathing, chest pain, or irregular heartbeat

Seek medical attention upon experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms to find out their cause and to receive proper treatment.

Diagnosis of Churg-Strauss Syndrome

Diagnosis of Churg-Strauss is difficult because there are no specific tests to confirm the condition. Patients must meet at least four of the following six criteria in order for a diagnosis to be made:

  • Asthma
  • Higher than normal white blood cell count (eosinophilia)
  • Mononeuropathy or polyneuropathy
  • Spots or lesions on a chest X-ray
  • History of chronic sinus pain
  • Extravascular eosinophils

Blood tests, imaging tests, and a biopsy of the affected tissue are typically done to verify the existence of these criteria. There is no cure for Churg-Strauss syndrome, but it can be managed with corticosteroids and other medications.

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