Criteria for the classification of Churg-Strauss syndrome (CSS) were developed by comparing 20 patients who had this diagnosis with 787 control patients with other forms of vasculitis. For the traditional format classification, 6 criteria were selected: asthma, eosinophilia >10% on differential white blood cell count, mononeuropathy (including multiplex) or polyneuropathy, non-fixed pulmonary infiltrates on roentgenography, paranasal sinus abnormality, and biopsy containing a blood vessel with extravascular eosinophils. The presence of 4 or more of these 6 criteria yielded a sensitivity of 85% and a specificity of 99.7%. A classification tree was also constructed with 3 selected criteria: asthma, eosinophilia >10% on differential white blood cell count, and history of documented allergy other than asthma or drug sensitivity. If a subject has eosinophilia and a documented history of either asthma or allergy, then that subject is classified as having CSS. For the tree classification, the sensitivity was 95% and the specificity was 99.2%. Advantages of the traditional format compared with the classification tree format, when applied to patients with systemic vasculitis, and their comparison with earlier work on CSS are discussed.