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Simple pulmonary eosinophilia (Loeffler's syndrome)
Alternative namesPulmonary infiltrates with eosinophilia; Eosinophilic pneumonia; Loeffler's syndrome
Simple pulmonary eosinophilia is characterized by abnormal chest X-ray findings. These vary -- the abnormality may appear in one part of the lung at one time, but the next X-ray may show no pathology or a problem in a different part of the lung.The abnormal X-rays are accompanied by a rise in the number of eosinophils (a type of white blood cell that is probably involved in allergies) in the blood. The disease usually clears up without treatment.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Simple pulmonary eosinophilia appears to be caused by an allergic reaction. A common cause is the migration of the parasitic worm Ascaris lumbricoides through the respiratory tract. Proteins on the surface of the worm probably incite this allergic reaction.
Other parasites of the ascaris family may also cause the syndrome. Additional possible causes include allergies to medications such as sulfonamide antibiotics.
Signs and tests
TreatmentIf a cause is found, therapy consists of removing the offending drug or treating the infection with antibiotic or antiparasitic medication.
Expectations (prognosis)The disease often resolves without treatment. If treatment is needed, the response is usually good. However, relapses can occur.
A rare complication of simple pulmonary eosinophilia is severe pneumonia .
Calling your health care providerSee your health care provider if you have symptoms that may be linked with this disorder.
PreventionThis is a rare disorder. Many times, the cause cannot be found. Minimizing exposure to possible risk factors (certain medicines, some metals) may reduce risk.
Update Date: 5/7/2003David A. Kaufman, M.D., Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT