Churg-Strauss syndrome is a illness infrequent characterized by inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis) of small caliber. It is also known as allergic granulomatosis, and while it can be treated, there is currently no cure.
The MSD Manual states that “it is a type of systemic necrotizing vasculitis of small and medium vessels characterized by extravascular granulomas, eosinophils, and tissue infiltration by eosinophils.”
a rare disease
Churg-Strauss syndrome is a rare autoimmune disease and whose main characteristic is the inflammation of the blood vessels due to an alteration of the immune system.
That inflammation can end up causing more serious conditions that can culminate in blood vessel necrosis. Inflammation too can reduce blood flow to vital organs and cause potentially permanent damage, such as aneurysms or cell death, to affected organs.
The lungs are the main organ affected by this pathology. The clinical picture It is characterized by the presence of asthma, rhinitis and sinusitis. However, one may suffer more serious symptoms such as skin, heart, kidney and digestive lesions.
we don’t know exactly what is the cause of Churg-Strauss syndrome. It is believed that they are genetic, immunoallergic and environmental factors are implicated.
Symptoms of Churg-Strauss syndrome
The symptoms of this autoimmune disease can be very different, depending on the affected person. Generally, Churg-Strauss syndrome has three stages, although they don’t always occur in the same order and may not even go through any of the stages.
the allergic phase it is usually the first stage of Churg-Strauss syndrome. It is characterized by a range of allergic reactions including:
- Asthma: It is usually the first clinical sign that appears in this syndrome, even several years before presenting other types of symptoms. In those cases where the person affected by Churg-Strauss already had asthma, the symptoms of the disease can worsen.
- Allergic rhinitis: It is a type of allergy that causes irritation of the mucous membranes and produces symptoms such as coughing, runny nose or sneezing.
- Sinusitis: The occurrence of sinusitis is due to inflammation of the paranasal sinuses. It usually causes headaches, facial pain and a feeling of congestion.
Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell (leukocyte) present in the blood involved in allergic reactions and inflammatory processes. Under normal conditions, these cells are present in small numbers. However, in Churg-Strauss syndrome, the eosinophil population increases uncontrollably and penetrates the tissue.
The symptoms of this eosinophilic phase can vary depending on the affected organ.; the lungs and digestive organs are usually the first to show damage. Some of the characteristic symptoms of this stage are:
- Abdominal pain
- loss of appetite
Vasculitis is the hallmark of Churg-Strauss syndrome.. Inflammation of small blood vessels can eventually cause tissue necrosis and prevent adequate circulation to vital organs.
Some of the typical symptoms of this stage are:
- Muscle tiredness, fatigue and weakness
- Weight loss
- Skin rashes and skin ulcers
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
- Articolar pains
- Pain and numbness in hands and feet
- Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting
- severe abdominal pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
Churg-Strauss syndrome can end up seriously affecting vital organs such as the lungs, kidneys, digestive system, heart, skin, or muscles. Some complications most common are:
- Peripheral nerve injuries: the syndrome can eventually affect the peripheral nerves of the feet and hands, due to poor irrigation due to vasculitis.
- Scars on the skin: vasculitis can also favor the appearance of ulcers or wounds on the skin.
- Heart disease: When the inflammation typical of Churg-Strauss syndrome affects the heart, more or less serious heart diseases can appear, such as pericarditis or myocarditis, which can culminate in heart failure.
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