Eosinophilic oesophagitis in patients presenting with dysphagia--a prospective analysis

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Nov 1;28(9):1140-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2008.03795.x. Epub 2008 Jul 4.


Background: Eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoO) may be a common finding in adults presenting with dysphagia.

Aim: To identify the risk factors and prevalence of EoO in an adult population with dysphagia.

Methods: All patients with dysphagia referred for an upper endoscopy (EGD) were asked to participate. Patients completed a detailed questionnaire followed by EGD with four quadrant biopsies in the distal and mid-oesophagus. Primary endpoint was the prevalence of EoO; secondary endpoints included age, gender, asthma, food allergies, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease/dysphagia score and endoscopic findings.

Results: Two hundred and sixty-one patients enrolled between December 2005 and January 2007. Thirty-one patients (12%) met pathological criteria for EoO. There was no difference in EoO prevalence within each gender. Mean age of EoO patients was 42 +/- 15 vs. 61 +/- 15 for non-EoO patients (P < 0.001). EoO was diagnosed in 35% of patients <50 years of age. EoO was present in 22% of asthmatics vs. 9% non-asthmatics (P < 0.01). EoO was present in 36.8% of patients with self-reported food allergies vs. 9.3% those without allergy (P < 0.001). A 13/31(42%) of EoO patients did not have the classic EGD findings (rings +/- furrows) and would have been missed without oesophageal biopsies.

Conclusions: Eosinophilic oesophagitis was diagnosed in 12% of the patients presenting with dysphagia with relative risk of 9.5 if age <50 years. Oesophageal biopsies are warranted in patients presenting with dysphagia especially in the younger population. Patients may not present with classic endoscopic findings and EoO can be missed without biopsies.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy
  • Deglutition Disorders / etiology*
  • Deglutition Disorders / pathology
  • Eosinophilia / complications*
  • Eosinophilia / pathology
  • Esophagitis / complications*
  • Esophagitis / pathology
  • Esophagoscopy / methods
  • Esophagus / pathology*
  • Esophagus / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Young Adult