What is EGPA?
EGPA stands for eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis, formerly Churg-Strauss syndrome
When you have EGPA, your blood eosinophil count is elevated. Eosinophils (ee-uh-sin-uh-fils) are a type of white blood cell that is a normal part of your immune system. What does this white blood cell have to do with your EGPA?
Normally, eosinophils make up a very small portion of a person's overall white blood cell count. But with EGPA, the percentage of eosinophils is higher than normal. The eosinophil is one of the cell types that may contribute to inflammation, which in turn may cause you to have more EGPA symptoms and flares.
EGPA may affect different parts of the body
The symptoms patients experience depend on which parts of the body are being affected. That’s why symptoms can vary from patient to patient. It’s likely that only some of the symptoms will be present at any given time.
Ears, nose & throat
Stomach & intestines
EGPA is uncommon
Because EGPA is uncommon, the diagnosis can often be delayed. You may have to work to have your symptoms understood, but this guide may help you have an open and informed discussion with your doctor.Download the discussion guide
How is EGPA diagnosed?
EGPA can be difficult to diagnose because there are no widely accepted diagnostic criteria. Although there is no specific test, a combination of symptoms and blood eosinophil levels may suggest an EGPA diagnosis.
In addition, EGPA symptoms can be similar to other diseases. For all these reasons, a combination of factors may be considered for a diagnosis, including:
- Signs and symptoms
- Physical examination
- Laboratory tests
- Specialized imaging studies
- A biopsy (removal of a sample of tissue or cells)
To confirm the diagnosis of EGPA, patients may be referred to doctors who specialize in treating vasculitis or eosinophilic conditions, such as allergists and immunologists, pulmonologists, and rheumatologists. Others may also be involved.