Carrington syndrome is a rare idiopathic disorder characterized by eosinophilic infiltration into the lungs, causing chronic, recurrent respiratory symptoms. It has a female preponderance and is mostly an adult illness.
Carrington syndrome (CS) is a rare interstitial lung ailment that is progressive in nature . The disease process is caused by an accumulation of eosinophils in the lungs, thus it is also called chronic eosinophilic pneumonia. The etiology of CS is unclear, although it may be linked to allergic reactions. It predominantly affects women, usually manifesting in middle-aged patients . Of the known cases of CS, few of them involve children . Furthermore, only about 10% of cases have a history of tobacco use . CS is considered chronic, however clinically, the disease is characterized by recurrent acute and sub-acute exacerbations. It is reported that up to 50% of affected individuals also suffer from asthma .
Symptoms of CS during an episode are often subclinical, consisting of respiratory complaints such as coughing, wheezing, dyspnea and crepitations on auscultation. As a result, diagnosis may only be made weeks after onset. The dyspnea experienced may be minimal and in some cases severe . However, patients are rarely ill enough to require assisted ventilation . The overall clinical impression may be similar to that of community-acquired pneumonia. Non-pulmonary signs, when present, are non-specific and frequently include fever, weight loss, night sweats and generalized body weakness. Conversely, the presence of systemic pathology is not typical of CS and may prompt the consideration of an alternative diagnosis, namely, idiopathic hypereosinophilic syndrome (IHS) .
Diagnosis of CS is made on the basis of clinical, laboratory and radiological evidence. Clinical features may be ambiguous, thus the latter studies are useful in delineating the etiology.
Laboratory studies include:
Pulmonary function tests (PFT): Either obstructive or restrictive lung disease patterns may be demonstrated, the latter especially seen in those with pre-existing asthma. One in three patients has normal PFT results.