The Course of Asthma in Churg–Strauss Syndrome
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OBJECTIVES: Asthma is one of the key features of Churg-Strauss syndrome (CSS); however its course in the disease is unclear. The aim of this study was to analyze the asthma course in CSS patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of 22 CSS patients. Medical documentation was studied and patients were questioned about asthma symptoms during follow-up visits, which took place at four points of the disease. These points, at which lung function tests were performed, were CSS diagnosis; introduction of treatment at hospital discharge; and assessment of the first and last clinical and laboratory CSS remissions. Asthma control and severity were assessed in compliance with current guidelines. RESULTS: In the asthmatic group examined, 21 patients had an adult-onset asthma, with a mean age of onset 35.5 ± 11.8 years, preceded by sinusitis (100%) and nasal polyposis (36%). Asthma at its onset was severe in 68.5%, moderate in 27%, and very poorly controlled in 21 patients. Atopy was present in 64% of patients. Onset of vasculitic symptoms and CSS diagnosis was accompanied by high blood eosinophilia (maximal 7.2 x 10(3)/l [1.2 - 32], asthma exacerbation with airway obstruction in 16 patients (mean values of FEV1 68.8 ± 17.5% and FVC 84.8 ± 19.6%), and lung involvement. After introducing the treatment and achieving stable remission, asthma severity/control and lung function tests (forced expiratory volume in 1 s 92.7 ± 13.3%, and forced vital capacity 101 ± 15.5%; p < .001) improved. CONCLUSIONS: Asthma in CSS, although severe as its onset improves after achieving CSS remission.