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Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex

The eosinophilic granuloma complex includes 3 main lesions: indolent ulcer; eosinophilic granuloma; and eosinophilic plaque. Eosinophilic plaques occur most commonly on the inside medial thighs or abdomen of mature cats but are accompanied by excessive licking and can be found on other areas of the body. Nodules, plaques, or proliferative ulcerated tissue can affect the mouths of cats.

Feline indolent ulcer of the upper lip

Additional information

  • The eosinophilic granuloma complex (EGC) of cats is an often confusing term for three distinct syndromes: eosinophilic plaque, eosinophilic granuloma, and indolent ulcer.
  • These syndromes are grouped primarily due to their clinical similarities, their frequent concurrent development, and their positive response to corticosteroids.

  • Eosinophilic plaque is a hypersensitivity reaction, most often to insects (fleas, mosquitos), and less often to food or environmental allergens.

    Eosinophilic plaques of the medial thighs and groin. Lesions are raised, circumscribed to coalescing, erythematous, and moist.
  • Eosinphilic granuloma may have multiple etiologies, including hypersensitivity and genetic predisposition.

    Eosinophilic granuloma of the digit

    Oral eosinophilic granuloma
  • Indolent ulcer, like eosinophilic granuloma, may have both hypersensitivity and genetic causes.
  • In all three syndromes, the eosinophil is the major infiltrative cell. Eosinophils are leukocytes located in greatest number in epithelial tissues. Although most often associated with allergic or parasitic conditions, the eosinophil has a more general role in the inflammatory reaction.

    Systems Affected
  • Skin/exocrine - the integument is most affected.
  • Oral cavity - eosinophilic granuloma can affect the tongue, palatine arches, and palate.

    The genetic basis for these diseases is unknown. However, several reports of related affected individuals and a study of disease development in a colony of specific pathogen-free cats indicates that, in at least some individuals, genetic predisposition (perhaps resulting in a heritable dysfunction of eosinophilic regulation) is an important component of the disease.

    Geographic Distribution
    Seasonal incidence in some geographical locations may be indicative of insect or environmental allergen exposure.
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