Rapid and Complete Control of Idiopathic Hypereosinophilia with Imatinib Mesylate

September 7, 2001

James L. Schaller, MD, MAR, Glenn A. Burkland, DMD


September 05, 2001


In this case report, we report what we believe to be the first case of imatinib mesylate or STI-571 (Novartis) use for treatment of idiopathic hypereosinophilia syndrome (HES). HES is often a fatal illness, damaging the heart, nervous system, lungs, liver, and kidneys. It is often treated with interferon-alpha. In this patient, it was combined with hydroxyurea, and we believe it saved his life. However, he experienced many common side effects,[1] such as a profound intractable headache, severe fatigue, and concentration difficulties. After years on hydroxyurea and interferon-alpha, the severity of these side effects motivated us to try a trial of imatinib mesylate. Its use was followed by an abrupt remission of HES in a few weeks, with no significant side effects.


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