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Clin Exp Immunol. 2001 Jan;123(1):94-8.

Elevated IL-5 levels in pleural fluid of patients with paragonimiasis westermani.

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Third Department of Internal Medicine, Miyazaki Medical College, Miyazaki, Japan.


To investigate the pathogenic mechanisms of eosinophilic pleural effusion in patients with paragonimiasis, we measured the levels of IL-5, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) in pleural effusions. Samples were obtained from 11 patients with Paragonimus westermani infection. In addition, samples from 12 patients with pleural transudates, 16 with tuberculous pleurisy, seven with empyema and 20 with lung cancer were also examined. Eosinophilia was remarkable in peripheral blood (range 4-34%, median 23.4%) and pleural fluid (range 0-95%, median 71%) of paragonimiasis patients. IL-5 concentrations in pleural effusions of paragonimiasis were markedly higher than those in other groups. Although marked elevation of GM-CSF and IFN-gamma levels was observed in pleural effusion of empyema and tuberculosis patients, it was marginal in the pleural effusion of paragonimiasis patients. In paragonimiasis patients, IL-5 levels in the pleural effusion correlated well with the percentage of eosinophils in peripheral blood and pleural fluid. Such a correlation was not observed between GM-CSF levels in pleural effusion and percentages of eosinophils in pleural fluid or peripheral blood. Our findings suggest that in paragonimiasis IL-5 in the local inflammatory site is particularly important in mediating eosinophilia in peripheral blood and pleural effusion.

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