Eosinophilic esophagitis in cystic fibrosis: a case series and review of the literature

J Cyst Fibros. 2013 Jan;12(1):9-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2012.09.002. Epub 2012 Oct 22.


Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) frequently experience gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, emesis, malnutrition and indigestion; diseases such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), distal intestinal obstructive syndrome, and cholelithiasis are commonly implicated. We have recently diagnosed eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) in three patients with CF. EoE is a TH-2 driven, allergen-mediated disease which causes esophageal eosinophilia and presents with symptoms of nausea, feeding intolerance, regurgitation, and dysphagia. EoE is diagnosed when esophageal biopsies reveal greater than 15 eosinophils per high power field in the setting of the appropriate clinical scenario and after exclusion of other causes of esophageal eosinophilia. Although described with increasing frequently in the gastrointestinal literature, there have been no prior cases documenting the co-existence of EoE and CF. We speculate that this is related to lack of familiarity with EoE symptoms by CF providers. We present three patients with CF diagnosed with EoE and review the current literature regarding diagnosis and management, focusing on management issues in patients with CF.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Budesonide / administration & dosage
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / immunology
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis / complications*
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis / diagnosis
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Prognosis


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Budesonide