Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)
What is eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)?
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is caused by the inflammation of the esophagus by eosinophills. The diagnosis is made only when other disorders have been ruled out, and there are increased numbers of eosinophils in the esophagus. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell which are primarily associated with allergies but are also found in other inflammatory diseases. The inflammation causes abdominal symptoms.
Why come to Children's Hospital Colorado for treatment of this condition?
In the Rocky Mountain region, the Gastrointestinal Eosinophilic Disease Program is the only program to offer comprehensive care for children with eosinophilic esophagitis. Learn more about the program.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Patients with EoE may have a wide variety of symptoms. Very young children may vomit or have feeding problems. Young children may complain of abdominal pain, vomit or not want to eat. Older children may have problems swallowing or get food stuck in their throat or esophagus.
How is it diagnosed?
While symptoms may be suggestive, an endoscopy and biopsy are necessary to make the diagnosis. Patients must have other causes for inflammation excluded before a diagnosis of EoE can be made.
How is it treated?
Medical management consists of steroids in either pill or liquid form or topical steroids administered by a metered dose inhaler. Nutritional management consists of eliminating specific foods that have been identified as likely allergens, or the use of an elemental formula.
Who gets it, and can it be prevented?
Eosinophilic esophagitis typically affects boys more often than girls. There has been no identified method to avoid getting it. To date, data suggests that EoE is a lifelong disease.
When should I seek medical attention?
If your child is having the symptoms listed above and is not improving on medical management for gastroesophageal reflux disease, or has other more serious symptoms such as weight loss, bleeding or diarrhea, you should seek consultation with a gastroenterologist.