We report that the hypodense eosinophil population in three patients with corticosteroid-unresponsive IHES was uniquely long lived ex vivo in the absence of exogenous cytokines. Serum or plasma from these patients conferred prolonged viability ex vivo to normodense eosinophils from reference donors and converted them to a functionally activated hypodense phenotype. In that antibody against IL-5 neutralized this activity in IHES serum, excessive quantities of this cytokine may account for the characteristic eosinophilia and long-lived, functionally augmented eosinophil phenotype in this disorder.

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