Mechanical properties of the esophagus in eosinophilic esophagitis

Gastroenterology. 2011 Jan;140(1):82-90. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2010.09.037. Epub 2010 Sep 19.


Background & aims: This study aimed to analyze the mechanical properties of the esophagus in eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) using the functional luminal imaging probe (EndoFLIP; Crospon Medical Devices, Galway, Ireland).

Methods: Thirty-three EoE patients (22 male; age range, 23-67 years) and 15 controls (6 male; age range, 21-68 years) were included. Subjects were evaluated during endoscopy with the EndoFLIP probe, comprised of a compliant cylindrical bag (maximal diameter 25 mm) with 16 impedance planimetry segments. Stepwise bag distensions from 2 to 40 mL were conducted and the associated intrabag pressure and intraluminal geometry were analyzed.

Results: The EndoFLIP clearly displayed the tubular esophageal geometry and detected esophageal narrowing and localized strictures. Stepwise distension progressively opened the esophageal lumen until a distension plateau was reached such that the narrowest cross-sectional area (CSA) of the esophagus maximized despite further increases in intra-bag pressure. The esophageal distensibility (CSA vs pressure) was reduced in EoE patients (P = .02) with the distension plateau of EoE patients substantially lower than that of controls (median: CSA 267 mm(2) vs 438 mm(2); P < .01). Mucosal eosinophil count, age, sex, and current proton pump inhibitor treatment did not predict this limiting caliber of the esophagus (P ≥ 0.20).

Conclusions: Esophageal distensibility, defined by the change in the narrowest measurable CSA within the distal esophagus vs intraluminal pressure was significantly reduced in EoE patients compared with controls. Measuring esophageal distensibility may be an important adjunct to the management of EoE, as it is capable of providing an objective means to measure the outcomes of medical or dilation therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chest Pain / diagnosis
  • Chest Pain / physiopathology
  • Dilatation
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal / instrumentation
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal / methods
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis / physiopathology*
  • Esophageal Stenosis / diagnosis
  • Esophagus / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mechanical Phenomena
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult