Ecp

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Synonym(s)

Eosinophilic cationic protein

Definition
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ECP (= eosinophil cationic protein) is a highly basic granulaprotein of eosinophil granulocytes. ECP is a marker protein for determining the activity of atopic eczema and bronchial asthma.

General information
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  • ECP is suitable for monitoring many active inflammatory diseases, as the level of circulating ECP levels often reflects the status of the inflammatory event.
  • ECP has toxic effects on neurons, some epithelial cell lines and isolated myocardial cells. Although circulating ECP levels vary widely in patients, some studies support the usefulness of ECP measurements as inflammation markers. ECP concentrations in plasma and other body fluids increase during inflammatory reactions characterized by eosinophile activation. The neuronal toxicity of ECP may cause itching and circulating ECP levels may give an indication of the severity of various skin diseases. There is evidence that serum ECP levels reflect the activity of atopic eczema (and also of allergic bronchial asthma). This correlation is higher than that of total serum IgE levels with clinical symptoms. In general, however, it should be noted that serum ECP determinations are subject to considerable inter-individual variation.

Note(s)
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The ECP determination is not suitable for individual prediction due to its considerable inter-individual dispersion. The ECP value only allows a statement about the activation status of the eosinophilic granulocytes. It is not suitable for diagnostic clarification, nor does an elevated value allow assignment to a specific clinical picture.

Literature
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  1. Renz H et al (2003) In vitro allergy diagnostics. Allergology 26: 237-254
  2. Renz H et al (2009) In vitro allergy diagnostics. Guideline of the German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI) Allergo J 19: 110-128

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020