Eosinophilia-Myalgia Syndrome

J. A. Allen, J. Varga

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS) is a multisystem disease characterized by subacute onset of myalgias and peripheral eosinophilia, followed by chronic neuropathy and skin induration. An epidemic of EMS in 1989 was linked to l-tryptophan consumption originating from a single source. Following the US Food and Drug Administration ban on the sale of l-tryptophan, EMS incidence declined rapidly. Xenobiotic triggered acute inflammation in a genetically susceptible host likely mediates the early phase of EMS. Late in the disease, cytokine activation and upregulation of collagen and extracellular matrix genes may drive the sustained fibrotic response. The exact etiologic agent responsible for EMS remains unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Toxicology
Subtitle of host publicationThird Edition
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780123864543
ISBN (Print)9780123864550
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Blood
  • Eosinophilia
  • Epidemiology
  • Fibrosis
  • Immune system
  • Immunogenetics
  • Neuromuscular
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Tryptophan
  • Xenobiotics


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