Peripheral blood eosinophil counts and eosinophil cationic protein content of respiratory secretions in bronchiolitis: relationship to severity of disease

R. Garofalo, A. Dorris, S. Ahlstedt, R. C. Welliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

Infants and young children with acute viral respiratory illness were studied to determine the association of peripheral blood eosinophil counts and concentrations of eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) in nasopharyngeal secretions with the development and severity of bronchiolitis. Subjects included those with upper respiratory illness (URI) alone, pneumonia or bronchiolitis. Controls consisted of healthy infants, and those hospitalized with non‐respiratory illnesses. While peripheral blood eosinophil counts were suppressed in all infected infants greater than two months of age, eosinophil counts in patients with bronchiolitis were significantly greater than in those with URI alone. ECP concentrations were significantly greater among individuals with bronchiolitis than other infected infants. For bronchiolitis cases with detectable peripheral blood eosinophils, eosinophil counts correlated weakly and inversely with oxygen saturations. In contrast, ECP concentrations were strongly inversely correlated with initial oxygen saturation. ECP concentrations were also significantly correlated with peripheral blood eosinophil counts. Viral infections suppress peripheral blood eosinophil counts in infants greater than two months of age, although the effect is somewhat overcome in patients with bronchiolitis. The form and severity of bronchiolitis is much more strongly related to degranulation of eosinophils in the respiratory tract than to peripheral blood eosinophil counts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1994
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • bronchiolitis
  • eosinophil cationic protein
  • eosinophilia
  • respiratory syncytial virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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