Not All Coughs Are Asthma or Allergies: Churg-Strauss Syndrome.

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Not All Coughs Are Asthma or Allergies: Churg-Strauss Syndrome.

J Emerg Med. 2016 Jul 15;

Authors: Bodoutchian AA, Jain H, Velez T

BACKGROUND: Cardiomyopathy in patients with Churg-Strauss syndrome (CSS) carries a poor prognosis, with a high 5-year mortality rate, and requires treatment with immunosuppressive therapy. There is no single pathognomonic test or clinical finding for diagnosing CSS; instead, it is based upon meeting four of six criteria.
CASE REPORT: A 47-year-old woman with a 6-month medical history of "asthma" presented to our hospital with a 1-month history or dyspnea on exertion. She denied any chest pain, cough, fever, orthopnea, or leg swelling. She was afebrile and normotensive, and her physical examination was unremarkable. Her white blood cell count was 23,000/mm(3) with 23% eosinophils, and her troponin T level was 1.08 ​Ng/ml. Extensive work-up revealed CSS. WHY SHOULD AN EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN BE AWARE OF THIS?: Emergency physicians should be aware of unusual cases because not every patient that walks into an emergency department has a simple case of "asthma" or "allergies." Our patient had been diagnosed with asthma for 6 months before her symptoms had progressed to a point that prompted her to seek medical attention in a hospital. Emergency physicians are in a unique position to identify patients who present with recurrent complaints of asthma-especially late-onset asthma, which gradually worsens and is refractory to usual treatment. A complete blood cell count with a differential will prove valuable. Assessments of a patient's C-reactive protein level and erythrocyte sedimentation rate are inexpensive and check for signs of inflammation, although they are nonspecific. A chest radiograph or computed tomography scan of the chest or sinuses in some patients can also prove to be of value. Prompt recognition and treatment with steroids is imperative to ablate vasculitis tissue damage because this can improve the outcome.

PMID: 27431867 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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