Eosinophilic Esophagitis: An Overlooked Entity in Chronic Dysphagia

Brian M. Yan and Eldon A. Shaffer


Nat Clin Pract Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006;3(5):285-289. 

In This Article


Eosinophilic esophagitis is now an established cause of dysphagia. Gastroenterologists should have a high clinical suspicion for this condition if the characteristic clinical and endoscopic features are present. Histologic confirmation, however, is essential for the diagnosis. Biopsies of the proximal and distal esophagus should be taken in clinically or endoscopically suspected esophagitis. In addition, given the differences in management, eosinophilic esophagitis must be differentiated from GERD as the cause of dysphagia. The clinical presentation and management of eosinophilic esophagitis in childhood might differ from that in the adult form. In children, dietary therapy is probably the treatment of choice, but data on the efficacy of such therapy in adults is lacking. Topical steroids are the most effective and convenient method for the treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis in adults, and have relatively few side effects; however, a high number of patients have symptomatic relapse after withdrawal of therapy.

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