Definition of Eosinophilic fasciitis
Eosinophilic fasciitis is a syndrome in which muscle tissue underneath the skin, called fascia, becomes swollen and thick. Rapid swelling can occur in the hands, arms, legs, and feet.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The cause of eosinophilic fasciitis is unknown. People with this condition have a build up of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, into the affected fascia and muscles. Eosinophils are associated with allergic-type reactions, but their specific function is largely unknown.
Signs and tests
Tests that may be done include:
Treatment with corticosteroids and other immune-suppressing medications provides relief of the symptoms, especially when they are started early in the disease. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also help relieve symptoms.
In most cases, the condition goes away within 3 to 5 years. However, symptoms may return (recur) or persist.
Ariel D. Teitel, MD, MBA, Chief, Division of Rheumatology, St. Vincent’s Hospital, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 2/22/2009