Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a build up of inflammatory cells in the esophagus, causing a wide range of symptoms, including: cough, runny nose, wheezing, swallowing difficulties, vomiting, feeding intolerance, failure to gain weight and chest or abdominal pain.
Diagnosis and Testing
Eosinophilic esophagitis is diagnosed by taking a small sample of tissue from the esophagus and sending the tissue to our laboratory to look for eosinophils. It is imperative that the child has been on a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication such as Prevacid or Prilosec for at least six weeks before the biopsy is obtained to distinguish between G.E.R.D. and EoE. If the child is not on a PPI, a diagnosis can be made in the presence of recorded negative pH probe study, ruling out G.E.R.D.
During the scope to obtain the biopsy and while under anesthesia, allergy blood work will be obtained to determine whether the child has food allergies.
Treatment for eosinophilic esophagitis begins by initiating an elimination diet, even in the absence of a recorded food allergy. Eliminated foods are then slowly reintroduced, carefully monitoring symptoms to determine what might be causing them.
If symptoms are not alleviated through an elimination diet, a course of swallowed or inhaled corticosteroid may be prescribed.
For more information about eosinophilic esophagitis, please speak with your child's physician.