“Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) is a chronic pathology of autoimmune aetiology which to date has incidence and prevalence data compatible with a rare disease, but it is probably more frequent in the general population than we know. Due to the different manifestations of EGPA and the complexity of the pathology itself, patients must be followed up in specialist centers with a multidisciplinary approach”. Thus Roberto Padoan, specialist in Rheumatology and head of the Vasculitis Center of the Complex Operational Unit of Rheumatology at the Padua hospital, on the sidelines of the second of the four days of Eular 2023, the European Congress of rheumatology, an organization that brings together all the companies of rheumatology, aimed at research, prevention, therapy and rehabilitation of rheumatic diseases, taking place in Milan from 31 May to 3 June 2023.
“It is a chronic disease and can give even very severe manifestations at its onset, involving vital organs such as the heart, nerves, intestines, kidneys. Over time it can persist and if not treated adequately it can also cause respiratory problems. To date, the standard of care – continues the expert – provides for the association, from the earliest stages, of corticosteroids (initially at high doses) and immunosuppressant drugs.For the more severe forms of the disease, it is necessary to use drugs such as rituximab and cyclophosphamide, while for the less severe forms conventional immunosuppressants can be used, or newer and more specific drugs, which target the eosinophil, one of the cells most involved in the pathogenesis of this disease”.
“By doing so, it is possible to adequately control the symptoms – explains Padoan – These new generation drugs could help solve what is currently the main problem in the treatment of eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis: in fact, we need to be able to reduce the dose of cortisone, which unfortunately represents one of the major problems regarding the accumulation of damage of these patients and the number of side effects that can occur over the years”, he concludes.