Health And Family

What is EGPA? Kris Aquino's medical condition explained

Marane A. Plaza - Philstar.com
What is EGPA? Kris Aquino's medical condition explained
Actress and TV host Kris Aquino
Kris Aquino via Instagram

MANILA, Philippines — Kris Aquino gave a health update via her Instagram account as she is reportedly now in Houston, Texas to receive treatments for her rare autoimmune illnesses.

"I’ll miss you- my friends & followers very much. Time is now my enemy, naghahabol kami hoping na wala pang permanent damage to the blood vessels leading to my heart," the famed actress and TV host wrote in the caption.

Dr. Niño Gavino, her attending physician who's "an exceptional Filipino-American doctor who successfully diagnosed what's really wrong with [her] health," explained what Kris is going through.

The physician's statement was shared by Aquino: "We reviewed all her medical history and records from the Philippines and Singapore and made a primary working diagnosis of (EGPA, formerly known as Churg-Strauss Syndrome), based on her adult-onset asthma, high count of eosinophils (more that 10%), paranasal sinusitis, transient pulmonary inflitrates."

Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (EGPA), according to US academic medical center Cleveland Clinic, is an extremely rare autoimmune condition that causes inflammation of small and medium-sized blood vessels.

"I'll miss you -- my friends & followers very much. Time is now my enemy, naghahabol kami hoping na wala pang (we are racing hoping that there is no) permanent damage to the blood vessels leading to my heart," Kris wrote in the caption of her post about her EGPA.

According to Vasculitisfoundation.org, EGPA is an extremely rare form of Vasculitis, which involves inflammation of the blood vessels. The inflammation can cause the walls of the blood vessels to thicken, which reduces the width of the passageway through the vessel. If blood flow is restricted, it can result in organ and tissue damage.

"EGPA can cause permanent damage to the heart, lungs and kidneys," Kris quoted Dr. Gavino in her post.

"Only 1 in every 1 million people gets this form of vasculitis per year. This is how rare and hard to treat Ms. Aquino's case is."

Characterized by extreme inflammation within small blood vessels, EGPA results in blood flow restriction, which can cause organ damage throughout the body if left untreated. EGPA is a serious, but treatable disease.

"Because of her reaction to corticosteroids, we are unable to treat her with it, hence we reinforced our recommendation for her to go to the United States to undergo treatment with Nucala (Mepolizumab), a non-steroid, FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved drug for EGPA," Gavino explained.

According to him, Nucala is only FDA-approved in the United States and not yet FDA-approved in the Philippines or Singapore.

"We will start treatment with Nucala, beginning with a drug challenge of 100 mg then advancing to 300 mg as she tolerates," Gavino shared in Kris' post.

"With no medical intervention overall, the life expectancy of those with EGPA is about at 25%. With the proper treatment, 5-year survival rate is at 62%."

When asked by Kris how long her EGPA treatment could take, Gavino said: "Barring any other complications, at least a minimum of 18-24 months."

RELATED: LIST: Kris Aquino's autoimmune diseases explained


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