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A granular leukocyte having cytoplasmic granules that stain with acid dyes and a nucleus with two lobes connected by a thin thread of chromatin.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a cell of vertebrates, including man, whose cytoplasm contains rounded granular structures that are stained by acid dyes, in particular by eosin. The eosinophils of the blood originate and mature in the bone marrow. They comprise 3–4 percent of leukocytes in the peripheral blood of a healthy human being. This level is subject to a daily rhythm and is regulated by the system which includes the pituitary body and the adrenal cortex.

In allergic reactions, eosinophils release the inhibitor histamine, which belongs to the prostaglandins E1 and E2. They also serve as phagocytes.

An increase in the percentage of eosinophils in the peripheral blood or an increase in their absolute number is called eosinophilia. As a rule, this condition is reactive in character, regardless of the degree of its severity. The possibility of developing eosinophilic leukemia is still a matter of dispute. Eosinophilia is accompanied by various reactions and diseases, predominantly allergic, including those related to the breaking down of the body’s resistance by parasites or medicinal and food allergens. Aggregations of eosinophils observed in the tissues, as, for example, in the mucosa of the bronchi (and sputum) in bronchial asthma, are called tissue eosinophilia. Eosinophilic infiltrates, large aggregations of eosinophils in the tissues, are occasionally observed in various organs, predominantly the lungs. They may run their course as short-term reactions or result in such severe illnesses as pneumonia, myocarditis, vasculitis, and meningoencephalitis. A number of other diseases are also accompanied by a high eosinophilia. In some cases it is impossible to establish the nature of the disease that is accompanied by a high eosinophilia. The condition may be observed even in people who are otherwise healthy.

Hürtle cells, one of the types of cells of the anterior lobe of the pituitary body, are also called eosinophils.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) is a non-profit organization dedicated to patients and their families coping with eosinophilic disorders.
In November 2018, the FDA granted ODD for Fasenra for the treatment of eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) and also granted ODD for the treatment of hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) in February 2019.
'We estimate that there are more than two million moderate-to-severe eosinophilic asthma patients in the U.S.
We have reported a case of eosinophilic fasciitis with livedo reticularis caused by factor V Leiden.
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Eosinophilic angiocentric fibrosis most commonly occupies the anterior nasal cavity and involves the nasal septum and lateral nasal wall.
The presence of peripheral and intramuscular eosinophilia can be an indicator of multiple diseases including Churg-Strauss syndrome, eosinophilic myositis, parasitic myopathy, and LGMD2A.
Mansoor, who is now a Gastroenterology Fellow in the Digestive Health Institute at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center/Case Western Reserve University, said: "What was really interesting was that we found an overall prevalence of celiac disease in eosinophilic esophagitis patients of two percent, which is a rather high prevalence given that in the general population the prevalence of celiac disease ranges from 0.25 to one percent at best.
Some cases of intractable otitis media are caused by eosinophilic otitis media (EOM), which is associated with bronchial asthma and is related to eosinophilic infiltration in the middle ear.
Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) is an antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody- (ANCA-) associated small vessel vasculitis with multisystem involvement.