Objective: To determine the frequency and the types of neurologic involvement in a series of patients with Churg-Strauss syndrome (CSS).
Design: We reviewed the medical records of 47 consecutive patients with CSS who were examined at the Mayo Clinic between January 1974 and June 1992.
Material and methods: The study patients were classified into two groups: (1) those with a histopathologically confirmed diagnosis of CSS who had evidence of either vasculitis or Churg-Strauss granuloma, the presence of asthma, and peripheral eosinophilia (more than 10% eosinophils) on at least one differential leukocyte count (N = 33) and (2) those with a clinical diagnosis of CSS who had evidence of vasculitis based on either multiple mononeuropathy or necrotizing cutaneous lesions, the presence of asthma, and peripheral eosinophilia (more than 10% eosinophils) on at least one differential leukocyte count (N = 14).
Results: Of the 47 patients, 29 (62%) had neurologic involvement. Peripheral neuropathy was detected in 25 patients: 17 had multiple mononeuropathy, 7 had distal symmetric polyneuropathy, and 1 had an asymmetric polyneuropathy. Three patients had cerebral infarctions. Less commonly identified problems included radiculopathies, ischemic optic neuropathy, and bilateral trigeminal neuropathy. Asthma preceded the onset of neurologic involvement in all cases (mean duration, 6.7 years. Follow-up data, when available, showed that corticosteroid therapy usually yielded improvement or stabilization.
Conclusion: Neurologic involvement is common in CSS, usually manifesting as peripheral neuropathy. In this series of patients, asthma preceded the neurologic manifestations.