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Comments, Opinions, and Brief Case Reports
June 9, 2003

Eosinophilia and Diseases: Clinical Revision of 1862 Cases

Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(11):1371-1373. doi:10.1001/archinte.163.11.1371-a

Eosinophils were first described in 1879 by Paul Ehrlich, based on their staining behavior. Eosinophils are a subpopulation of leukocytes, originating in the bone marrow from a CD34+ precursor. They circulate in peripheral blood, where they represent 2% to 3% of total white cells, and have a half-life of approximately 8 to 18 hours. Nevertheless, once recruited in peripheral tissues by specific cytokines, eosinophils can survive for days or weeks as resident cells. Eosinophils possess a powerful enzymatic machinery (eosinophil-derived neurotoxin, eosinophil cationic protein, and major basic protein) not shared with other types of granulocytes.1