Background: The pathophysiology of dysphagia associated with eosinophilic esophagitis is unknown. This study investigated possible anatomic alterations in children with eosinophilic esophagitis in comparison with healthy children by using high-resolution EUS to precisely measure individual tissue layers of the esophagus.
Methods: Children with eosinophilic esophagitis (n = 11) and control children (n = 8) without esophagitis were prospectively evaluated by high-resolution EUS with a 20-MHz catheter US probe during an endoscopic examination. Real-time measurements of the distal esophagus were obtained including the thickness of the total wall, combined mucosa and submucosa, muscularis propria, and circular muscle.
Results: Statistically significant differences were found between patients with eosinophilic esophagitis and control patients for mean values for thickness of the total wall (respectively, 2.8 vs. 2.1 mm; p = 0.004), combined mucosa and submucosa (respectively, 1.6 vs. 1.1 mm; p = 0.001), and muscularis propria (respectively, 1.2 vs. 1.0 mm; p = 0.043). Mean values for circular muscle did not differ between patient groups.
Conclusion: High-resolution EUS reveals significant expansion of the esophageal wall and individual tissue layers including the combined mucosa and submucosa, and muscularis propria in children with eosinophilic esophagitis compared with healthy control patients.