Treatment at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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The goal of treatment for hypereosinophilic syndrome is to reduce the numbers of eosinophils in your body and prevent tissue damage, especially to your heart. Your treatment depends on your symptoms, the severity of your condition and the cause of your HES.

  • Watchful waiting. If you have no symptoms and your eosinophil count is low enough, your doctor may opt for a "wait and see" approach. Your condition will then be closely monitored for any changes related to HES.
  • Prednisone. Generally, if you don't have the FIP1L1-PDGFRA gene mutation, you'll initially be treated with prednisone, a corticosteroid, which is gradually tapered to the lowest dose that controls the eosinophil count. If a high dose of prednisone is needed, other medications are added to control hypereosinophilic syndrome and to avoid the side effects of high-dose prednisone. Prednisone side effects include psychiatric problems, high blood pressure and increased susceptibility to infection.
  • Protein-tyrosine kinase inhibitor. If you have the FIP1L1-PDGFRA gene mutation, you have, by definition, chronic eosinophilic leukemia. You'll need treatment with imatinib mesylate (Gleevec), a type of drug known as a protein-tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Imatinib mesylate slows the growth of cancer cells and is almost 100 percent effective, especially for men.
Nov. 19, 2012