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Interferon-α Treatment of Four Patients with the Churg-Strauss Syndrome

Efstratios Tatsis, MD; Armin Schnabel, MD; and Wolfgang L. Gross, MD
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From the Medical University of Lubeck, Lubeck, Germany; and Rheumaklinik Bad Bramstedt, Bad Bramstedt, Germany. For current author addresses, see end of text. Requests for Reprints: Efstratios Tatsis, MD, Poliklinik fur Rheumatologie, Medizinische Universitat zu Lubeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538 Lubeck, Germany. Current Author Addresses: Drs. Tatsis, Schnabel, and Gross: Department of Rheumatology, Medical University of Lubeck, 23538 Lubeck, and Rheumaklinik Bad Bramstedt, 24572 Bad Bramstedt, Germany.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1998;129(5):370-374. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-129-5-199809010-00004
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Background: Interferon-α is reported to have a beneficial effect on patients with the idiopathic hypereosinophilic syndrome.

Objective: To study the effect of interferon-α on the Churg-Strauss syndrome.

Design: Case series.

Setting: University hospital.

Patients: Four patients with biopsy-proven Churg-Strauss syndrome.

Intervention: Interferon-α at dosages of 7.5 to 63 million U per week.

Measurements: Disease extent, disease activity, and blood eosinophil count in a treatment period ranging from 14 to 25 months.

Results: Interferon-α therapy led to remission of disease and a substantial reduction of the prednisolone requirement in two patients who had attained incomplete remission with cyclophosphamide or methotrexate. The third patient's condition stabilized, and the fourth patient maintained remission. During interferon-α therapy, the blood eosinophil count in all patients decreased in a dose-dependent manner and paralleled the extent of clinical disease and disease activity.

Conclusions: Interferon-α may be an effective treatment for the Churg-Strauss syndrome. It seems to exert its effect primarily by producing a dose-dependent decrease in the blood eosinophil count.


Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1.
Blood eosinophil counts (triangles), disease extent index scores (circles), and dosages of interferon-α and prednisolone in four patients with the Churg-Strauss syndrome. Top.Upper middle.Lower middle.Bottom.[9]

Patient 1. Patient 2. Patient 3. Patient 4. Time 0 represents the beginning of interferon-α therapy for each patient. The disease extent index is a measure of the number of organ systems involved (range, 0 to 21 points ). IFN-α = interferon-α; MU = million units; PRED = prednisolone.

Grahic Jump Location




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Churg Strauss Interferon Treatment
Posted on April 9, 2004
Larry Geyerman
University of Arizona
Conflict of Interest: None Declared

I am a Churg Stauss Syndrome patient and wondered if there was any follow up 5 years on after the article research on "Interferon-alpha Treatment of Four Patients with the Churg-Strauss Syndrome " by E. Tasis

Conflict of Interest:

None declared

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