Eosinophilic Disorders


Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell that destroy foreign substances in the body and regulate inflammation as part of the body’s immune function. Too much eosinophil inflammation results in tissue damage. Common triggers are parasites, allergies, and some autoimmune disorders. Generally, diagnosing and treating the underlying disease resolves the eosinophil problem.

Eosinophils are a necessary part of the body’s immune function. They destroy foreign substances in the body and regulate inflammation. A type of white blood cell, eosinophils increase in number when the body faces allergic responses, skin inflammation, and infection due to parasites. Eosinophil counts sometimes increase due to bone marrow disorders.

The body’s tissue and mucus contains eosinophils, as do other parts of the body. A blood test identifies blood eosinophilia, where there is an excess of eosinophils. However, in cases of tissue eosinophilia, blood counts may be normal. A blood count of over 500 eosinophils per microliter generally indicates eosinophilia in adults, and counts over 1,500 that last for several months indicate the presence of hypereosinophilic syndrome.1

While eosinophils play a vital role in the body’s health, their inflammation function sometimes gets out of control. Inflammation is a necessary part of immune responses, isolating and containing the area where disease or infection occurs. When too much inflammation occurs, other issues arise, sometimes resulting in tissue damage.

Some diseases and conditions known to cause Eosinophilia include2:

  • Parasites
  • Fungal diseases
  • Asthma
  • Allergies to foods, medications, and seasonal substances
  • Eczema
  • Adrenal problems
  • Skin disorders
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Certain leukemias, including Chronic myelogenous leukemia and Eosinophilic leukemia
  • Autoimmune disorders such as lupus, Crohn’s Disease
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Some cancers and tumors

In some cases, bone marrow produces too many eosinophils. One condition, Idiopathic hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES), causes overly high eosinophil counts with no known cause. Hypereosinophilic syndrome may be the result of certain cancers, including bone marrow or lymph node cancer.3

Generally, treating eosinophil issues means properly diagnosing and treating the underlying disease. For instance, treating eosinophilic esophagitis, a chronic allergic inflammatory disease of the esophagus, involves identifying the food allergens causing the inflammation and removing them from the diet.4 Airway inflammation caused by eosinophils plays a huge part in asthma attacks, and researchers now seek development of therapies that actually reduce asthma patients’ eosinophil count.5

With proper treatment for the condition that brought on the excess production of eosinophils, they generally decrease in number. However, many require supportive care during treatment, which varies depending upon the underlying condition. When hospitalization is required, general supportive therapies are administered, from IV fluids to drugs for pain management. Most cases of secondary eosinophilia are treated according to their underlying causes. Pulmonary eosinophilia may require oxygen treatments. According to Medscape, when allergies cause the problem, corticosteroid treatment may work, although use of such medications may worsen infections due to parasites and fungi. In cases involving steroid resistant diseases, interferon may be used, in addition to several other medications that control organ involvement. 

Proper treatment of eosinophilia requires proper diagnosis of its cause. Only then can proper treatment take place. 







Additional Diseases Info:

Asthma infographic


alveolus air sac where gas exchange takes place.
angina chest pain.
aorta blood vessel that delivers oxygen-rich blood from the left ventricle to the body; it is the largest blood vessel in the body.
apex top portion of the upper lobes of the lungs.
atrium one of the two receiving chambers of the heart.
base bottom portion of lower lobes, located just above the diaphragm.
blood pressure pressure of blood against the walls of a blood vessel or heart chamber.
bronchiolitis inflammation that involves the bronchioles (small airways).
bronchoscopy the examination of the bronchi (the main airways of the lungs) using a flexible tube (bronchoscope). Bronchoscopy helps to evaluate and diagnose lung problems, assess blockages, obtain samples of tissue and/or fluid, and/or to help remove a foreign body.
bronchus large airways; lung divides into right and left bronchi.
cardiac output total amount of blood being pumped by the heart over a particular period of time.
catheter thin, flexible medical tube; one use is to insert it into a blood vessel to measure blood pressure.
constrict tighten; narrow.
cyanosis bluish color in the skin because of insufficient oxygen.
diaphragm primary muscle used for respiration, located just below the lung bases.
diastolic pressure lowest pressure to which blood pressure falls between contractions of the ventricles.
dilate relax; expand.
dyspnea sensation of difficulty in breathing.
edema swelling due to the buildup of fluid.
endothelial cells the delicate lining, only one cell thick, of the organs of circulation.
expiration exhaling; giving off carbon dioxide.
heartbeat one complete contraction of the heart.
hyperactive describes a situation in which a body tissue is especially likely to have an exaggerated reaction to a particular situation.
hypertension abnormally high blood pressure.
hypotension abnormally low blood pressure.
inspiration inhaling; taking in oxygen.
lobectomy removal of an entire lobe of the lung.
lung volume the amount of air the lungs hold.
mean blood pressure average blood pressure, taking account of the rise and fall that occurs with each heartbeat. It is often estimated by multiplying the diastolic pressure by two, adding the systolic pressure, and then dividing this sum by three.
palpitation sensation of rapid heartbeats.
perfusion flow.
pleura membrane that covers the outside of the lung.
pneumonectomy removal of an entire lung.
pulmonary artery blood vessel delivering oxygen-poor blood from the right ventricle to the lungs.
pulmonary hypertension abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs.
smooth muscle muscle that performs automatic tasks, such as constricting blood vessels.
spirogram record of the amounts of air being moved in and out of the lungs.
syncope fainting; temporary loss of consciousness.
systemic relating to a process that affects the body generally; in this instance, the way in which blood is supplied through the aorta to all body organs except the lungs.
systolic pressure the highest pressure to which blood pressure rises with the contraction of the ventricles.
vasodilator agent that widens blood vessels.
ventilation movement of air (gases) in and out of the lungs.
ventricle one of the two pumping chambers of the heart; right ventricle receives oxygen-poor blood from the right atrium and pumps it to the lungs through the pulmonary artery; left ventricle receives oxygen-rich blood from the left atrium and pumps it to the body through the aorta.