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      Neurological Complications in Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (EGPA): The Roles of History and Physical Examinations in the Diagnosis of EGPA

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          To investigate the clinical symptoms, the physical and neurological findings, and the clinical course of neurological complications in eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA).


          A retrospective chart review of EGPA cases managed by two referral hospitals was performed, with a focus on the neurological findings. The study analyzed the symptoms at the onset of EGPA and investigated their chronological relationship. The patient delay (the delay between the onset of symptoms and the initial consultation), and the physician delay (the delay from consultation to the initiation of therapy) were determined and compared. The involved nerves were identified thorough a neurological examination. The cases with central nervous system (CNS) involvement were described.


          The average duration of symptoms prior to the initiating of therapy for sensory disturbances, motor deficits, rash, edema, and fever was 23, 5, 21, 18, and 24 days, respectively. Among the EGPA-specific symptoms, sensory disturbance was often the first symptom (63%), and was usually followed by the appearance of rash within four days (63%). The average physician delay (32.9±38.3 days) was significantly longer than the average patient delay (7.9±7.8 days; p=0.010). Reduced touch sensation in the superficial peroneal area, and weakness of dorsal flexion of the first toe secondary to deep peroneal nerve involvement, were highly sensitive for identifying the presence of peripheral nerve involvement in our series of patients with EGPA. Two cases, with CNS involvement, had multiple skin lesions over their hands and feet (Janeway lesions).


          Japanese physicians are not always familiar with EGPA. It is important for us to consider this disease, when an asthmatic patient complains about the new onset of an abnormal sensation in the distal lower extremities, which is followed several days later by rash.

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          Most cited references 17

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          2012 revised International Chapel Hill Consensus Conference Nomenclature of Vasculitides.

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            The American College of Rheumatology 1990 criteria for the classification of Churg-Strauss syndrome (allergic granulomatosis and angiitis).

            Criteria for the classification of Churg-Strauss syndrome (CSS) were developed by comparing 20 patients who had this diagnosis with 787 control patients with other forms of vasculitis. For the traditional format classification, 6 criteria were selected: asthma, eosinophilia greater than 10% on differential white blood cell count, mononeuropathy (including multiplex) or polyneuropathy, non-fixed pulmonary infiltrates on roentgenography, paranasal sinus abnormality, and biopsy containing a blood vessel with extravascular eosinophils. The presence of 4 or more of these 6 criteria yielded a sensitivity of 85% and a specificity of 99.7%. A classification tree was also constructed with 3 selected criteria: asthma, eosinophilia greater than 10% on differential white blood cell count, and history of documented allergy other than asthma or drug sensitivity. If a subject has eosinophilia and a documented history of either asthma or allergy, then that subject is classified as having CSS. For the tree classification, the sensitivity was 95% and the specificity was 99.2%. Advantages of the traditional format compared with the classification tree format, when applied to patients with systemic vasculitis, and their comparison with earlier work on CSS are discussed.
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              Churg-Strauss syndrome. Clinical study and long-term follow-up of 96 patients.

              Churg-Strauss syndrome (CSS) is a systemic vasculitis characterized by the presence of asthma, hypereosinophilia, and necrotizing vasculitis with extravascular eosinophil granulomas. In this retrospective study of 96 patients between 1963 and 1995, we analyzed clinical manifestations, identified prognostic factors, and assessed the long-term outcome. CSS was diagnosed when asthma, hypereosinophilia > 1,500/mm3 or > 10%, and clinical manifestations consistent with systemic vasculitis, with or without histologic evidence, were present. Asthma was the most frequently observed manifestation at presentation, with mononeuritis multiplex the second. Other common manifestations were weight loss, fever, myalgia, skin involvement, paranasal sinusitis, arthralgia, pulmonary infiltrate, and gastrointestinal involvement. Mean eosinophilia at presentation was 7.193 +/- 6.706/mm3; ANCA, present in 20 of 42 (47.6%) patients, predominantly gave the perinuclear labeling pattern. All the patients were treated with corticosteroids alone or in combination with cyclophosphamide or plasma exchanges. Clinical remission was obtained in 91.5%; 22 (25.6%) patients relapsed. Twenty-three patients died during follow-up: 11 of these deaths were directly due to vasculitis. The presence of severe gastrointestinal tract or myocardial involvement was significantly associated with a poor clinical outcome. The long-term prognosis of CSS is good and does not differ from that of polyarteritis nodosa, although most patients need low doses of oral corticosteroids for persistent asthma, even many years after clinical recovery from vasculitis.

                Author and article information

                Intern Med
                Intern. Med
                Internal Medicine
                The Japanese Society of Internal Medicine
                15 September 2017
                15 November 2017
                : 56
                : 22
                : 3003-3008
                [1 ]Department of Rheumatology, Hiroshima City Hiroshima Citizens Hospital, Japan
                [2 ]Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Therapeutics, Hiroshima University, Japan
                [3 ]Department of Neurology, Hiroshima City Hiroshima Citizens Hospital, Japan
                [4 ]Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Hiroshima University Hospital, Japan
                Author notes

                Correspondence to Dr. Hiroshi Oiwa, hiroshioiwa@

                Copyright © 2017 by The Japanese Society of Internal Medicine

                The Internal Medicine is an Open Access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. To view the details of this license, please visit (

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