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Eosinophilic fasciitis

Simon M Helfgott, MD
John Varga, MD
Section Editor
John S Axford, DSc, MD, FRCP, FRCPCH
Deputy Editor
Monica Ramirez Curtis, MD, MPH


Eosinophilic fasciitis (EF, also called Shulman syndrome) is an uncommon disorder of unknown etiology and poorly understood pathogenesis [1]. EF is characterized in its early phase by limb or trunk erythema and edema and later by collagenous thickening of the subcutaneous fascia. Eosinophilia is a prominent laboratory finding in the early phase, although not always present in active early cases and less prominent in later stages [2].

This topic will review the clinical manifestations, pathology, diagnosis, differential diagnosis, and treatment of EF. The approach to the patient with eosinophilia, and other major causes of eosinophilia are discussed separately. (See "Approach to the patient with unexplained eosinophilia" and "Eosinophil biology and causes of eosinophilia".)


The etiology of eosinophilic fasciitis (EF) is unknown. The following have been suggested as possible triggers or factors associated with EF [3]:

Strenuous exercise [1]

Initiation of hemodialysis [4]

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jan 13, 2017.
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