Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Also known as: EE, eosinophilic esophagitis.

What is eosinophilic esophagitis?

Eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) is a condition related to food ingestion or inhaled allergens. It is characterized by an isolated inflammation of the esophagus by a specific white blood cell called  the eosinophil. It can be associated with other allergic conditions such as asthma and allergic rhinitis


What causes eosinophilic esophagitis?

White blood cells known as eosinophils are the cause of eosinophilic esophagitis. As part of an allergic response to a particular food or inhaled allergen, eosinophils infiltrate the lining of the esophagus and release their contents. These contents of the eosinophil create inflammation in the lining, leading to symptoms.


What are the symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis?

Common symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis can include trouble swallowing, chest pain, heartburn, abdominal pain, regurgitation, vomiting and others.  In young children, the symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis resemble those of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), including feeding disorders and poor weight gain, so the child may be mistakenly diagnosed with GERD. In rare cases, EE may cause a food impaction that requires emergency removal.


What are eosinophilic esophagitis care options?

Medications and dietary changes are all possible treatments for eosinophilic esophagitis. In rare cases, the inflammation created by EE causes a narrowing in the esophagus, called a stricture. A procedure called dilatation may then be needed to open up the esophagus to allow food to pass comfortably.

Reviewed by: Shifra A Koyfman, MD

This page was last updated on: September 04, 2020 11:15 AM

Pediatric Gastroenterology

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