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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1987 Sep;80(3 Pt 2):412-5.

The eosinophilic leukocyte and the pathology of fatal bronchial asthma: evidence for pathologic heterogeneity.


Classically, bronchial asthma is associated with peripheral blood eosinophilia and striking eosinophilia of bronchial tissues and sputum. Evidence exists that eosinophil degranulation commonly occurs during bronchial asthma and eosinophil granule proteins are discharged onto damaged bronchial epithelium. Analyses of 10 patients with fatal asthma showed striking eosinophil participation in eight, whereas two patients showed marked epithelial desquamation in the virtual absence of eosinophils. These results point to the possibility that a pathologic heterogeneity exists in fatal bronchial asthma, with most, but not all, patients showing evidence of eosinophil participation.

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