Therapeutic concepts in adult and paediatric eosinophilic oesophagitis

Abstract

Eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE) was first described in the early 1990s. Although initially reported to be a rare entity, EoE has rapidly become a regularly diagnosed disease with a prevalence of approximately 1 in 2,000 individuals in the USA and Europe. The disease is characterized by a combination of oesophageal dysfunction and predominant eosinophilic infiltration of the oesophageal tissue. At diagnosis, other diseases that can be associated with oesophageal eosinophilic infiltration must be ruled out. Children with EoE present with a wide variety of symptoms, whereas adults mostly present with dysphagia for solid food and chest pain. Histologic features of EoE resemble those of T-helper type 2 inflammation. Endoscopy should be carried out to establish the diagnosis, but endoscopic abnormalities are not pathognomonic for EoE and the examination might not show histologic abnormality. Treatment modalities for EoE include drugs (corticosteroids, PPIs, antiallergic and biologic agents), hypoallergenic diets and oesophageal dilatation for strictures that are unresponsive to medical therapy. Unresolved eosinophilic inflammation leads to the formation of oesophageal strictures, which probably increase the risk of food bolus impactions. To date, long-term strategies for the therapeutic management of this chronic inflammatory disease remain poorly defined.

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