Eosinophilia Treatment

Eosinophilia is a disorder that may arise from a number of etiologies. Thus the first task in treatment is to find out whether the condition is primary or secondary. Secondary eosinophilia is due to parasitic infection or drug hypersensitivity in the majority of cases.

Drugs in Eosinophilia

The first step is to withdraw all medications that are not essential for the patient’s continued health. This is so because there is a wide range of drugs that are capable of causing hypersensitivity reactions, even months or years after starting treatment. Even if a drug is indicated for the patient, it should be continued only as long as there is no sign of organ involvement, such as pulmonary or renal inflammation.

The appearance of fever, rashes, or arthralgia or other systemic symptoms warrant the cessation of the suspected drug.

Parasite Eradication

Another step is stool and serologic testing for parasitic infestation. Three consecutive stool specimens should be tested for parasite ova, beside specific blood tests, depending on the patient’s history of travel and the place of residence, past and present.

If the patient has any chance of having Strongyloides stercoralis infection, it is mandatory to do serologic testing for this parasite, which does not show up in microscopic examination of stool specimens. This is because Strongyloidiasis has the tendency to flare up and disseminate throughout the body when glucocorticoid treatment is initiated.

In case this condition is suspected, but not confirmed, and if immediate initiation of treatment is necessary, ivermectin should be given together with the steroid. In other conditions, once the diagnosis of parasitic infestation is established, adequate and effective anti-parasitic treatment should be given.

Treatment of Complications

If none of these underlying disorders are found, or if the eosinophil count remains high despite treatment, other possibilities should be taken into account. Tests such as antibody testing for vasculitides and other connective tissue disorders, imaging of the thorax and abdomen, and bone marrow aspiration for biopsy may be indicated among others. However, many of these tests are concerned as much with picking up eosinophilia-related organ complications as with establishing the etiology.

For instance, cardiac involvement may be signaled by high cardiac troponin, EKG variations or cardiac dysfunction on echocardiography. Other serious complications include hypoxia due to lung infiltration and neurologic deficits. In case any of these are found to be present, high doses of corticosteroids are immediately started, with the above proviso that ivermectin is to be added simultaneously in case strongyloidiasis is conceivably present. Only if the patient does not respond to corticosteroids is specialist therapy with imatinibmesylate or vincristine warranted.

Other emergent situations which require immediate corticosteroid therapy include:

  • DRESS syndrome with persistent hypereosinophilia despite withdrawal of the suspected drug
  • hypereosinophilia due to the presence of tumors and manifested by cardiac damage or failure

Treatment of Hypereosinophilic Syndromes (HES)

HES types need to be differentiated. The F/P type is treated first of all with imatinib in order to achieve remission. Corticosteroids do not usually effect a reduction in eosinophils in this type, but are added on in case of cardiac involvement, in order to prevent the onset of acute myocarditis. The L-HES subtype is treated with corticosteroids, in contrast, while T-cell inhibitors such as interferon-α are added in refractory cases or if the dosage of corticosteroids is to be reduced. Such patients also require careful follow-up to detect T-cell lymphoma.

Most other cases of HES respond to corticosteroids if indicated to reduce the eosinophil count. This depends on whether complications have set in, and if so, which organ is affected and to what extent. The dose varies widely from patient to patient. If corticosteroids are to be taken in a high dose, or if the adverse effects are severe, agents like hydroxyurea and interferon-α are effective.

Patients with myeloproliferative disease are often treated with imatinibmesylate. All these drugs are also used in patients who do not respond to steroid therapy. Mepolizumab is a more recent addition, which antagonizes the action of interleukin-5, an important chemokine in the production of eosinophils.


Further Reading

Last Updated: Feb 26, 2019

Dr. Liji Thomas

Written by

Dr. Liji Thomas

Dr. Liji Thomas is an OB-GYN, who graduated from the Government Medical College, University of Calicut, Kerala, in 2001. Liji practiced as a full-time consultant in obstetrics/gynecology in a private hospital for a few years following her graduation. She has counseled hundreds of patients facing issues from pregnancy-related problems and infertility, and has been in charge of over 2,000 deliveries, striving always to achieve a normal delivery rather than operative.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Thomas, Liji. (2019, February 26). Eosinophilia Treatment. News-Medical. Retrieved on October 07, 2022 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Eosinophilia-Treatment.aspx.

  • MLA

    Thomas, Liji. "Eosinophilia Treatment". News-Medical. 07 October 2022. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/Eosinophilia-Treatment.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Thomas, Liji. "Eosinophilia Treatment". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Eosinophilia-Treatment.aspx. (accessed October 07, 2022).

  • Harvard

    Thomas, Liji. 2019. Eosinophilia Treatment. News-Medical, viewed 07 October 2022, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Eosinophilia-Treatment.aspx.


  1. Mukul Anand Mukul Anand India says:

    When i was in school, i suffered with eosnophil problem around 540 count. Doctor adviced me not to eat curd and banana. But later i came to find that whenever i take high protein food besides milk, egg, curd and banana, i got problem in my athletic activities. Please suggest what should i do. I involve in activities like running, gym, and cricket bowling which require high protein diet. It seems protein also causing high eosonophil count.
    Thanks in anticipation
    Mukul Anand

  2. Mukul Anand Mukul Anand India says:

    Milk and egg also cuase same problem.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment