Advances in clinical management of eosinophilic esophagitis

Gastroenterology. 2014 Dec;147(6):1238-54. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2014.07.055. Epub 2014 Aug 7.


Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic immune/antigen-mediated clinicopathologic condition that has become an increasingly important cause of upper gastrointestinal morbidity in adults and children over the past 2 decades. It is diagnosed based on symptoms of esophageal dysfunction, the presence of at least 15 eosinophils/high-power field in esophageal biopsy specimens, and exclusion of competing causes of esophageal eosinophilia, including proton pump inhibitor-responsive esophageal eosinophilia. We review what we have recently learned about the clinical aspects of EoE, discussing the clinical, endoscopic, and histological features of EoE in adults and children. We explain the current diagnostic criteria and challenges to diagnosis, including the role of gastroesophageal reflux disease and proton pump inhibitor-responsive esophageal eosinophilia. It is also important to consider the epidemiology of EoE (with a current incidence of 1 new case per 10,000 per year and prevalence of 0.5 to 1 case per 1000 per year) and disease progression. We review the main treatment approaches and new treatment options; EoE can be treated with topical corticosteroids, such as fluticasone and budesonide, or dietary strategies, such as amino acid-based formulas, allergy test-directed elimination diets, and nondirected empiric elimination diets. Endoscopic dilation has also become an important tool for treatment of fibrostenotic complications of EoE. There are a number of unresolved issues in EoE, including phenotypes, optimal treatment end points, the role of maintenance therapy, and treatment of refractory EoE. The care of patients with EoE and the study of the disease span many disciplines; EoE is ideally managed by a multidisciplinary team of gastroenterologists, allergists, pathologists, and dieticians.

Keywords: Diagnosis; Endoscopy; Management Algorithm; Treatment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use*
  • Algorithms
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis* / diet therapy
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis* / drug therapy
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use*


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors