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01.12.2014 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2014

An uncommon presentation of eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis: a case report

Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2014
Giuseppe Taormina, Giuseppe Andolina, Maria Aurelia Banco, Edy Julia Costanza-Gaglio, Alice Bonura, Silvio Buscemi
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1752-1947-8-190) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

GT contributed to the clinical management of the patient, was responsible for acquisition of data, and edited the manuscript; GA performed the coronary angiography, and helped write the manuscript; MAB performed the radiology analysis and helped in writing the manuscript; EJC-G contributed to the review of the literature and the writing of the manuscript; AB contributed to the review of the literature and the writing of the manuscript; SB was responsible for the clinical management of the patient, and coordinated and edited the manuscript. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.



Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis is a rare and potentially fatal disease if not readily diagnosed. Cerebral involvement is extremely rare and clinical presentation as hemorrhagic stroke is even rarer.

Case presentation

A 58-year-old Caucasian man was admitted to our medical unit because of a computed tomography-diagnosed hemorrhagic stroke with right-sided hemiparesis and fever. A chest computed tomography scan also revealed multiple bilateral pulmonary infiltrates; coronary artery, and carotid and left vertebral artery calcifications were also observed. Empiric antimicrobial therapy with cephalosporins was promptly undertaken; low-molecular-weight heparin was introduced as prophylaxis for venous thromboembolism. Over the following days, magnetic resonance imaging scans showed a regression of the hemorrhagic framework, also revealing hypoxic areas consistent with acute ischemic lesions. With a computed tomography scan showing a worsening of his pulmonary framework, antimicrobial therapy was modified and corticosteroids were introduced. A new blood cell count revealed further increased leukocytosis (17.49×103μL), characterized by a surprising rise of eosinophilic cells (32.8%). Angiography of the coronary arteries found diffuse dilatations with severe signs of endothelial damage. Such an unexpected framework induced a strong suspicion that the stroke was the expression of a systemic vasculitis, which had triggered his cerebral, coronary, and pulmonary frameworks. The search for antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody was positive for perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody, and eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis was diagnosed. Explaining to the patient the rarity of his disease, and what the most typical presentations of eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis were, he revealed that before admission he had had scalp injuries, in the nuchal region, and had taken corticosteroids as self-medication, with subsequent disappearance of the lesions. Therefore, high-dose corticosteroid treatment was started, and at discharge he was in good clinical condition with a slight right-sided hyposthenia.


A diagnosis of eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis is often difficult, but we are convinced that intake of corticosteroids on a self-prescribed basis may have obscured the clinical presentation. Therefore, this case also suggests how the growing phenomenon of self-medication can be harmful, and that a careful investigation of clinical history is still an act of paramount importance.

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