Eosinophilic gastroenteritis

Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2005 Apr;19(2):177-98. doi: 10.1016/j.bpg.2005.01.009.


Eosinophilic gastroenteritis despite its uncommon occurrence is one of the most important primary eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders, and most commonly presents with abdominal pain. The terminology is, however, misleading because all levels of the gastrointestinal tract from the esophagus to the rectum may be affected. A history of atopy and allergies is present in 25-75% cases. The heterogeneity in the clinical presentations of EG is determined by the site and depth of eosinophilic infiltration. Eosinophilic intestinal inflammation also occurs secondarily in the gastrointestinal tract in inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune diseases, as reactions to medications, infections, hypereosinophilia syndrome, and after solid organ transplantation. Recent investigations providing an insight into the pathogenesis of eosinophilic gastroenteritis support a critical role for allergens, eosinophils, Th-2 type cytokines, and eotaxin in mediating eosinophilic inflammation. The diagnosis is confirmed by demonstrating prominent tissue eosinophilia on histopathology. Treatment recommendations based on data extrapolated from retrospective, uncontrolled studies, and expert opinion support the use of restricted diets, corticosteroids, leukotriene receptor antagonists, and mast cell stabilizers. Many unanswered questions remain with regard to the natural history, optimal duration of therapy, safer steroid-sparing long-term treatment agents, and the means of reliable and non-invasive follow-up.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Eosinophilia / diagnosis*
  • Eosinophilia / physiopathology
  • Eosinophilia / therapy*
  • Gastroenteritis / diagnosis*
  • Gastroenteritis / physiopathology
  • Gastroenteritis / therapy*
  • Humans