Objective: To determine the natural history of treated and untreated eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) and examine the presenting symptoms of EE.
Patients and methods: Retrospective and prospective chart review of all patients diagnosed with EE at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. EE was defined as greater than 20 eosinophils per high power field after treatment with reflux medications.
Results: We identified 620 patients in our database in the last 14 years and 330 patients with greater than 1 year of follow-up for analysis. The number of new EE patients has increased on an annual basis. Of the patients presenting with EE, 68% were younger than 6 years old. Reflux symptoms and feeding issues/failure to thrive were the most common presenting symptoms for EE. Eleven patients had resolution of all of their food allergies and 33 patients had resolutions of some of their food allergies. No patients have progression of EE into other gastrointestinal disorders.
Conclusions: EE is a chronic disease with less than 10% of the population developing tolerance to their food allergies. EE does not progress into other gastrointestinal diseases.