Episodic eosinophilia-myalgia-like syndrome in a patient without l-tryptophan use: Association with eosinophil activation and increased serum levels of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor

Bruce S. Bochner*, Baruch Friedman, Guha Krishnaswami, Robert P. Schleimer, Lawrence M. Lichtenstein, Claus Kroegel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have studied a patient with recurrent bouts of angioedema, myalgia, and eosinophilia that was not due to L-tryptophan ingestion. Peripheral blood eosinophils (EOSs) during exacerbations of his illness displayed characteristics of "activation," including hypodense phenotype and increased responsiveness to platelet-activating factor (PAF) in vitro with respect to expression of CD11b surface adhesion proteins. Elevated serum levels of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) bioactivity were also detected, whereas interleukin-3 and interleukin-5 levels were not increased. During treatment with glucocorticoids, all clinical symptoms resolved, EOSs decreased in number and became normodense, PAF responsiveness diminished, and GM-CSF levels returned to normal. During glucocorticoid tapering, a subsequent clinical relapse was again associated with EOS hypodensity, increased PAF responsiveness, and increased serum GM-CSF levels. Although this patient satisfies the diagnostic criteria for eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome, the episodic and profound nature of exacerbations and response to therapy in the absence of L-tryptophan usage suggests a possible overlap with the syndrome of episodic angioedema and eosinophilia. In vitro studies suggest that GM-CSF may play a role in the eosinophilia, EOS activation, and pathophysiology of disease in this patient and demonstrate resolution of these abnormalities during glucocorticoid therapy. The efficacy of glucocorticoid therapy in some hypereosinophilic states may therefore be mediated, at least in part, via reduction of GM-CSF production and / or EOS activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-636
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Volume88
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

Keywords

  • Eosinophil activation
  • GM-CSF
  • myalgia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

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