Eosinophil extracellular traps in a patient with chronic eosinophilic pneumonia

Asia Pac Allergy. 2021 Jul 7;11(3):e24. doi: 10.5415/apallergy.2021.11.e24. eCollection 2021 Jul.


Eosinophils rapidly release extracellular filamentous chromatin fibers (extracellular traps, ETs) when they are stimulated. Reticulated ETs have been recently shown to affect secretion viscosity in eosinophilic inflammatory diseases. Here we report a 43-year-old woman with infiltrative shadows in both upper lungs that did not respond well to antibiotics. She admitted to occasional coughing and sputum, but had poor viscous regulation. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) collected from the upper left lobe showed many eosinophils (65%). She was diagnosed with chronic eosinophilic pneumonia, per previously reported criteria, and began treatment with prednisolone. The infiltration shadow gradually improved, and she was discharged 28 days after admission. Later, we immune-stained her BALF cell components with antibodies against major basic protein, an eosinophil granule protein, which showed a large number of agglomerating eosinophils; and antibodies against citrullinated histone H3 (CitH3-a marker for ETs), which showed CitH3-positive ETs, spread in a network. These findings confirmed that some BALF eosinophils released eosinophil ETs. This case shows the existence of ETs from BALF in patients with chronic eosinophilic pneumonia. Concentration of eosinophil ETs in eosinophilic inflammatory diseases may affect secretion viscosity in sputum, and so on.

Keywords: Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid; ETosis; Eosinophils; Extracellular traps; Pulmonary eosinophilia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports