What is EGPA? Kris Aquino’s health condition explained
MANILA, Philippines — Kris Aquino gave her health update via her Instagram account as she would now be in Houston, Texas receiving treatment for her rare autoimmune diseases.
“I will miss you very much, my friends and followers. Time is now my enemy, naghahabol kami hoping that the blood vessels leading to my heart will not be permanently damaged,” the famous actress and TV host wrote in the legend.
Dr. Niño Gavino, his primary care physician who is “an outstanding Filipino-American physician who successfully diagnosed what was really wrong with [her] health,” explained what Kris is going through.
The doctor’s statement was shared by Aquino: “We have reviewed all of his medical history and records from the Philippines and Singapore and have established a primary working diagnosis of (EGPA, formerly known as Churg-Strauss Syndrome) , based on his adult asthma, eosinophil count (greater than 10%), paranasal sinusitis, transient pulmonary infiltrates.”
According to the Cleveland Clinic University Medical Center, eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) is an extremely rare autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of small to medium-sized blood vessels.
“I will miss you very much, my friends and followers. Time is now my enemy, naghahabol kami hoping na wala pang (we run hoping 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 blood vessels. Inflammation can cause the walls of blood vessels to thicken, reducing the width of passage through the vessel. If blood flow is restricted, it can lead to organ and tissue damage.
“EGPA can cause permanent damage to the heart, lungs, and kidneys,” Kris quoted Dr. Gavino as saying in his post.
“Only 1 in 1 million people get this form of vasculitis a year. That’s how rare and difficult to treat Ms. Aquino’s case is.”
Characterized by extreme inflammation in small blood vessels, EGPA leads to restriction of blood flow, which can cause organ damage throughout the body if left untreated. EGPA is a serious but treatable disease.
“Due to her reaction to corticosteroids, we cannot treat her with it, so we have strengthened our recommendation that she travel to the United States for 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 be starting treatment with Nucala, starting with a 100mg drug challenge and then increasing to 300mg as tolerated,” Gavino shared in Kris’ post.
“Without medical intervention overall, the life expectancy of people with EGPA is about 25%. With the right treatment, the 5-year survival rate is 62%.”
When asked by Kris how long his EGPA treatment might take, Gavino replied, “Barring any other complications, at least a minimum of 18-24 months.”
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