Introduction Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic immune-mediated disorder characterised by an increased eosinophil infiltrate combined with typical symptoms of dysphagia/food bolus obstruction although those with refractory-reflux symptoms without inflammation are not commonly suspected. Recent guidance has improved clinical awareness, endoscopic vigilance and biopsy protocols. This study captures recent trends in endoscopy, histology and subsequent response to therapy of patients with EoE in a London tertiary referral centre.
Method Between February 2013 and January 2015, reports were collected for all patients who underwent high definition endoscopy and biopsies at University College London Hospital. Patients with oesophageal cancer or surgery were excluded. Demographics, clinical characteristics, eosinophil concentration and response to therapy were collected for all those with >15 eosinophils/high power field (eos/hpf). Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to analyse non-parametric variables.
Results Of the 848 patients with dysphagia who had biopsies, 39 (4.6%) had >15 eos/hpf; however a total of 46 patients were found to have >15 eos/hpf (30M; mean age 39.5 ± 14.5 years). Patients with eosinophilia presented mostly with dysphagia (25; 54%) and food impaction (22; 48%) while another 7 (15%) also presented with refractory-reflux symptoms (only 2 with Grade A esophagitis but with >80 eos/hpf in the proximal oesophagus). 22% had a history of atopy/asthma. 26/46 (57%) exhibited EoE-specific endoscopic findings; corrugated rings (18), strictures (5), furrows (6) and Schatzki ring (4). 7/46 (17%) had esophagitis Grade A (4), B (2) and C (1) esophagitis. The remaining 13 (28%) had a normal endoscopy.
There was no difference in the mean eos/hpf between patients with EoE-specific endoscopic changes (47 ± 24), esophagitis (46.5 ± 21.2) and normal endoscopy (47.5 ± 24.9) (p = 0.915). Furthermore the mean eos/hpf between those who presented with dysphagia, food bolus obstruction or refractory-reflux was similar (p = 0.804).
37 patients were treated with either proton pump inhibitors (PPI; 19) or topical steroids (18). Of the 26 patients whose outcomes were reported, 10 responded to steroids and 9 to PPIs. Response to PPIs was more likely in those with reflux-predominant symptoms vs. dysphagia (p = 0.027). The maximum number of eos/hpf did not predict response to therapy as a whole (p = 0.586) nor in those treated with steroids versus PPI (p = 0.188). Furthermore, there was no association of response to treatment when compared to age, endoscopic appearance or atopy (p = NS).
Conclusion It is increasingly recognised that EoE does not only present with dysphagia. Therapy targeted towards the predominant symptom can improve outcome in patients with EoE.
Disclosure of interest None Declared.
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