Navigate Up

Heart Center - A-Z Index

#
J
Q
X
Z

Print This Page

Simple pulmonary eosinophilia

Simple pulmonary eosinophilia is inflammation of the lungs from an increase in eosinophils, a type of white blood cell.

Alternative Names

Pulmonary infiltrates with eosinophilia; Loeffler syndrome

Causes

Most cases of simple pulmonary eosinophilia are due to an allergic reaction from:

Symptoms

Symptoms can range from none at all to severe. They may go away without treatment.

Exams and Tests

The health care provider will listen to your chest with a stethoscope. Crackle-like sounds called rales may be heard. Rales suggest inflammation of the lung tissue.

A complete blood count (CBC) may show increased white blood cells, particularly eosinophils .

Chest x-ray usually shows abnormal shadows called infiltrates. They may disappear with time or reappear in different areas of the lung.

A bronchoscopy with washing may show a large number of eosinophils.

Gastric lavage may show signs of the Ascaris worm or another parasite.

Treatment

If you are allergic to a medicine, the doctor may tell you to stop taking it. Never stop taking a medicine without first talking with your doctor.

If the condition is due to an infection, you may be treated with an antibiotic or anti-parasitic medicine.

Sometimes, you may need corticosteroids (anti-inflammatory medicines).

Outlook (Prognosis)

The disease often goes away without treatment. If treatment is needed, the response is usually good. However, relapses can occur (the disease comes back), especially if the condition does not have a specific cause and requires treatment with corticosteroids.

Possible Complications

A rare complication of simple pulmonary eosinophilia is a severe type of pneumonia called acute idiopathic eosinophilic pneumonia.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

See your health care provider if you have symptoms that may be linked with this disorder.

Prevention

This is a rare disorder. Many times, the cause cannot be found. Minimizing exposure to possible risk factors, such as certain medicines or parasites, may reduce risk.

References

Cottin V, Cordier JF. Eosinophilic lung diseases. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus VC, Martin TR, et al., eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2010:chap 61.

McCarthy J, Nutrman TB. Parasitic lung infections. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus VC, Martin TR, et al., eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2010:chap 37.

Updated: 5/30/2013

Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.


©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com