Could hypereosinophilia at diagnosis estimate the current activity or predict relapse in systemic immunosuppressive drug-naïve patients with eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis?


In this study, we investigated whether hypereosinophilia (peripheral eosinophil ≥ 1500/mm3) at diagnosis could estimate the increased current activity and predict the poor prognosis during follow-up in patients with eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA). We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 42 patients with EGPA and finally included 30 systemic immunosuppressive drug-naïve patients. We obtained clinical and laboratory data including clinical manifestations, Birmingham vasculitis activity score (BVAS), five-factor score (FFS) (2009), and routine laboratory results. Hypereosinophilia was defined as peripheral eosinophil ≥ 1500/mm3. We divided EGPA patients based on hypereosinophilia and compared variables between the two groups. The cumulative relapse-free survival rates were compared by the Kaplan–Meier survival analysis. Patients with hypereosinophilia more commonly exhibited cutaneous manifestation than those without (50.0% vs. 14.3%, P = 0.038), but there were no significant differences in BVAS and FFS (2009) at diagnosis. Patients with hypereosinophilia showed the higher median WBC (14,200.0/mm3 vs. 7940.0/mm3) and CRP (17.6 mg/L vs. 2.0 mg/L) at diagnosis than those without. During follow-up, patients with hypereosinophilia at diagnosis exhibited the similar cumulative relapse-free survival rate to those without (P = 0.393). Whereas, patients with FFS (2009) at diagnosis ≥ 2, which was a well-known predictor of the poor prognosis of EGPA, exhibited the lower cumulative relapse-free survival rate than those with FFS (2009) < 2 (P = 0.030). Hypereosinophilia at diagnosis could neither estimate the current activity nor predict relapse in systemic immunosuppressive drug-naïve patients with EGPA unlike theoretical assumption.

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This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2017R1D1A1B03029050) and a Grant from the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute, funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI14C1324).

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All authors contributed to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data and participated in drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content. Also, all authors gave final approval of the version to be published and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

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Correspondence to Sang-Won Lee.

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This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Severance Hospital (4-2017-0673).

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The patient’s written informed consent was waived by the approving IRB, as this was a retrospective study.

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Yoo, J., Ahn, S.S., Jung, S.M. et al. Could hypereosinophilia at diagnosis estimate the current activity or predict relapse in systemic immunosuppressive drug-naïve patients with eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis?. Rheumatol Int 39, 1899–1905 (2019).

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  • Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis
  • Hypereosinophilia
  • Clinical manifestations
  • Laboratory results