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Hypereosinophilic Syndromes: Symptoms

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This information was reviewed and approved by Tho Q. Truong, MD (7/1/2012).

Symptoms of HES depend on which organs are involved. 

Some typical symptoms include:

  • a skin rash,

  • cough and breathlessness,

  • abdominal pain,

  • diarrhea/vomiting, and

  • weight loss.


Cardiovascular problems may include:

  • cardiac arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat),

  • cardiac dysfunction causing shortness of breath or accumulation of fluid that causes swelling (edema), and

  • blood clots in the heart.


In its early stages, the symptoms of HES can be silent and not easily detected.

If the doctor is concerned about the number of eosinophils in the blood, he or she may order more blood tests. Depending on the person's physical exam, initial bloodwork and symptoms, the doctor may order specific tests to evaluate organ function, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiogram, pulmonary function tests, abdominal CT, chest CT or chest x-ray, as well as possibly tissue biopsies done at body sites for which there is suspected involvement. A hematologic evaluation is often necessary to rule out other causes of hypereosinophilia, such as a blood cancer, as well as to evaluate for some of the known causes for HES.

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