What is the pathophysiology of viral esophagitis?

Updated: May 28, 2020
  • Author: Deepika Devuni, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Initially, herpes esophagitis is manifested by the development of small vesicles that subsequently rupture to form discrete superficial ulcers on the mucosa. In immunocompetent patients, the host response promotes healing of the ulcers, but in patients who are severely immunocompromised, the condition may progress from discrete areas of ulceration to a diffuse hemorrhagic esophagitis. Necrotic herpetic ulcers may become superinfected by candidiasis.


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