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Chronic Eosinophilic Diseases

Chronic eosinophil diseases are types of blood disorders associated with abnormally high numbers of a rare white blood cell type called eosinophils. Eosinophils are found in the blood stream of all people and are believed to help the body fight against parasitic infections, cancer, or can cause allergic reactions.

Chronic eosinophil diseases are conditions where a higher-than-normal number of eosinophils exist but aren’t needed. Because of this, the eosinophils travel to various organs throughout the body and can cause damage. The heart is particularly susceptible to this damage through scarring or heart failure.

People with eosinophilic diseases may present with hypersensitivity or severe allergic reactions, requiring treatment. These diseases are often treated with steroids, which require long term use to be effective. 

Chronic eosinophil leukemia is a type of leukemia in which too many eosinophils are found in the bone marrow, blood, and other tissues are often associated with particular mutations in growth factor receptors such as PDGFRA, PDGFRB or FGFR1. It is possible that CEL may stay the same for many years, but it could progress to an acute leukemia.

Richard T. Silver MD Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Center 525 East 70th St., Starr Pavillion, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10021 SilverMPNCenter@med.cornell.edu