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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Eosinophilia syndrome

Eosinophilia syndrome

Eosinophilia myalgia syndrome is incurable and flu like neurological disease caused by ingestion of L-tryptophan substitute.


Signs and symptoms

  • Myalgia and muscle cramps with remissions and relapses
  • Muscle weakness and fatigue
  • Joint pain/Arthralgia
  • Peripheral, facial and periorbital edema
  • Non scarring alopecia
  • Skin rash- macules to serpigenous lesions
  • Pulmonary symptoms- dry cough or shortness of breath
  • Neurological symptoms- paresthesias, numbness, burning sensation, and memory loss
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms- Dysphagia, dyspepsia and diarrhea


  • The exact cause for eosinophilic syndrome has not been found.
  • The majority of the patents identified as having eosinophilia syndrome during the acute outbreak consumed L-tryptophan (97%) prior to the development of the syndrome.
  • L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid found in many foods and has been available over the counter for insomnia, depression, and premenstrual symptoms.

Tests and diagnosis

  • Complete blood count with absolute esinophil count
  • Elevated creatine kinase levels
  • Abnormal liver function tests
  • Chest X-ray and pulmonary function tests


  • Ascending polyneuropathy
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Myocarditis
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Encephalopathy/stroke
  • Thrombocytopenia


Key factor in the treatment is stopping ingestion of L-tryptophan or any other agent that may be the offending factor.

High doses of corticosteroids may be helpful in acutely ill patients.