Cardiac involvement in eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly Churg-Strauss syndrome): Prospective evaluation at a tertiary referral centre

Published:December 22, 2020DOI:



      Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) is a rare systemic vasculitis. Cardiac specific involvement (CSI) is caused by coronary artery vasculitis, but also by myocardial eosinophilic infiltration. To date, the prevalence of CSI associated with EGPA is unresolved. Aim of this study was to systematically assess the prevalence and clinical impact of CSI in a consecutive outpatient EGPA population.


      Between October 2018 and July 2019, we prospectively enrolled 52 consecutive EGPA patients. All underwent comprehensive evaluation including a standardized questionnaire, physical examination, 12-lead-ECG, echocardiography. Cardiac magnetic resonance and 24 h-Holter were performed as deemed clinically appropriate. Cardiac abnormalities were defined as CSI based on the likelihood of their relation to EGPA vasculitis, after exclusion of alternative diagnoses.


      52 enrolled patients, mean age 59±1 years. Thirteen of the 52 patients (25%) were classified as CSI+. CSI was characterized by myocarditis in four patients, non-scar-related regional wall motions abnormalities (RWMA) in three, apical thrombosis in two (one also had RWMA), pericarditis in three and non-atherosclerotic coronary disease (Prinzmetal angina and coronaritis) in 2. Five (38%) of the 13 CSI+ patients, presented an apical aneurysm. Peak eosinophil count at diagnosis was higher in CSI+: 8000 /μl vs CSI-: 3000 /μl, p = 0.017. Overall, 2 patients had severe LV dysfunction, 5 required urgent hospitalization and 8 required long-term cardioactive therapy.


      CSI was present in one-quarter of patients, often associated with high peak eosinophils. Myocarditis, RWMA and apical aneurysms were the most common manifestations. Although rarely severe and life-threatening, CSI often required long-term cardioactive treatment.



      ACR (American College of Rheumatology), ANCA (anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies), ASE (American Society of Echocardiography), CMR (cardiac magnetic resonance), CSI (cardiac specific involvement), ECG (electrocardiogram), EF (ejection fraction), EGPA (Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis), ENT (ear nose throat), GLS (Global Longitudinal Strain), ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator), LGE (late gadolinium enhancement), LV (left ventricle), NIBP (non-invasive blood pressure), NSVT (non sustained ventricular tachycardia), NTproBNP (N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide), PET (positron emission tomography), RWMA (Non scar-related regional wall motion abnormalities), SSFP (steady-state free precession), Tn (troponin), WMA (wall motion abnormalities)
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