Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)
What is eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)?
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic allergic/immune condition where a person will have inflammation of the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that send food from the mouth to the stomach. With EoE, large number of white blood cells called eosinophils are found in the tissue of the esophagus where they normally do not exist. The buildup is a reaction to foods, allergens or acid reflux, which can inflame or injure the esophageal tissue. This can then lead to difficulty swallowing or cause food to get caught when you swallow.
- Climate. Living in a cold or dry climate.
- Season. May be more likely diagnosed between the spring and fall, probably because levels of pollen and other allergens are higher and people are more prone to be outdoors.
- Sex. More common in males than in females.
- Family history. If family members have eosinophilic esophagitis, you have a greater chance of being diagnosed.
- Allergies and asthma. If you have food or other allergies, or asthma, you are more likely to be diagnosed.
- Age. Originally thought to be a childhood disease, but now is known to be common in adults as well.
Diagnosis. The only method to confirm the diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis is with an upper endoscopy (EGD) and esophageal biopsies to look for increased numbers of eosinophils. An endoscopy is a medical procedure that lets your doctor see what is happening in your esophagus. During a biopsy, tissue samples will be taken and analyzed.
Additional diagnosing includes:
- Blood tests
- Medication trials
- Dietary treatment trials
- Food-patch test
Treatment. Eosinophilic esophagitis is considered a chronic relapsing disease, meaning that most people will require ongoing treatment to control their symptoms.
EoE by the numbers
- The prevalence of EoE is estimated to be .5-1 in every 1,000
- EoE is the most common cause of food impaction
- EoE is seen in 2-7% of patients undergoing endoscopy
- Incidence of EoE is approximately 1/10,000 new cases per year
- "Diseases and Conditions Eosinophilic Esophagitis." Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 19 June 2014. Web. 9 Apr. 2017.
- "Eosinophilic Esophagitis Information and Articles." Eosinophilic Esophagitis Home Blog Posts RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2017.
- "Eosinophilic Esophagitis | AAAAI." The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2017.
- Dellon, Evan S. "Epidemiology of Eosinophilic Esophagitis. Gastroenterology Clinics of North America. U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2014. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.