Churg-Strauss Syndrome (allergic granulomatosis and angiitis) is a type of inflammatory destruction of blood vessels known as vascultis in which small and medium size arteries are affected. Churg-Strauss Syndrome affects multiple organ systems. The lungs and skin are most commonly involved, but the heart, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, and nervous system can also be damaged.
Symptoms of Churg-Strauss Syndrome usually consist of asthma and chronic sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses), but may also include rash (especially on the elbows, hands, and legs), neuropathy (nerve damage often resulting in numbness, weakness, or pain), abdominal pain, diarrhea and hypertension (high blood pressure).
To diagnose Churg-Strauss Syndrome, asthma and chronic sinusitis usually have to be evaluated with lung function tests and CT scans of the chest and sinuses. Blood tests for eosinophils (white blood cells) are also necessary. Eventually, a sample may be taken from an involved area for further diagnosis. This is called a biopsy.
Treatment of Churg-Strauss Syndrome depends on the severity of the disease, but usually includes inhaled, topical and/or oral steroids to reduce inflammation. When there are more widespread symptoms, immunomodulatory or steroid-sparing drugs are given, which help to reduce the body's autoimmune response.
Reviewed on 7/2012