Ear, nose and throat manifestations of Churg-Strauss syndrome

Acta Otolaryngol. 2006 May;126(5):503-9. doi: 10.1080/00016480500437435.


Conclusion: Ear, nose and throat (ENT) involvement is common in Churg-Strauss syndrome (CSS), usually manifesting as allergic rhinitis and chronic rhinosinusitis with or without polyps. Otolaryngologists may play a pivotal role in making an early diagnosis of this disease.

Objectives: CSS is a systemic vasculitic disorder that affects small to medium-sized blood vessels. Although the cause of CSS remains unknown, tissue damage seems more likely to be mediated by activated eosinophils. Patients affected by CSS frequently have ENT manifestations, which are often present at the time of disease onset and may represent relevant clues for the diagnosis. Thus, our objective was to present the ENT manifestations at the onset, at the diagnosis and at some point during the course of the disease in a series of patients with CSS collected at a single center.

Materials and methods: Twenty-eight patients with CSS, as defined according to the 1990 American College of Rheumatology classification criteria, were identified. Twenty-one (75%) of these patients had ENT involvement. We evaluated the clinical course, laboratory data, histologic findings, treatment and outcomes.

Results: Of the 21 patients, 13 (61.9%) had ENT involvement at asthma onset and 8 (38%) at diagnosis or during follow-up. The most common ENT manifestations were allergic rhinitis in 9 (42.8%) patients and nasal polyposis in 16 (76.1%). Three (14.2%) patients developed chronic rhinosinusitis without polyps, three (14.2%) had nasal crusting, one (4.7%) serous otitis media, one (4.7%) purulent otitis media, two (9.5%) progressive sensorineural hearing loss, and one (4.7%) unilateral facial palsy. Corticosteroid therapy associated with immunosuppressive drugs usually yielded improvement or stabilization.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Chronic Disease
  • Churg-Strauss Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Churg-Strauss Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Polyps / diagnosis
  • Nasal Polyps / drug therapy
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases / drug therapy
  • Prednisone / administration & dosage
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / diagnosis
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / drug therapy
  • Sinusitis / diagnosis
  • Sinusitis / drug therapy


  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Prednisone
  • Methylprednisolone