Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE): Tests and Diagnosis

What tests are used to diagnose eosinophilic esophagitis?

While symptoms may be suggestive, an upper endoscopy and biopsy are necessary to make the diagnosis so that the eosinophils can be seen under a microscope. Patients must have other causes for inflammation, like reflux , excluded before a diagnosis of EoE can be made.

For an upper endoscopy, a gastroenterologist inserts a small lighted flexible instrument through the mouth into the esophagus, stomach and the initial part of the small intestine. The instrument has a tiny camera inside which allows the doctor to see images of your digestive system on a video screen. Pictures will be taken and small tissue samples will be obtained.

How do doctors at Children’s Hospital Colorado make a diagnosis?

It is necessary to exclude other causes for symptoms and inflammation before diagnosing someone with EoE. You doctor may recommend your child start an acid suppression medication or perform a pH test to check for acid reflux, which can cause similar symptoms, before performing an endoscopy or biopsy.