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Eosinophilic Esophagitis

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  • In eosinophilic esophagitis (e-o-sin-o-FILL-ik uh-sof-uh-JIE-tis), a type of white blood cell (eosinophil) builds up in the lining of the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach (esophagus). This buildup, which is a reaction to foods, allergens or acid reflux, can inflame or injure the esophageal tissue. Damaged esophageal tissue can lead to difficulty swallowing or cause food to get caught when you swallow. Eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic immune system disease. It has been identified only in the past two decades, but is now considered a major cause of digestive system (gastrointestinal) illness. Subsequently, as the understanding of EoE evolved, a phenotypic heterogeneity in disease presentation was observed, such as PPI-responsive esophageal eosinophilia.
  • Signs and symptoms include: difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), food impaction, chest pain, persistent heartburn, upper abdominal pain, no response to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) medication, backflow of undigested food (regurgitation) etc. Eosinophilic esophagitis is considered a chronic relapsing disease, meaning that most people will require ongoing treatment to control their symptoms. Topical steroids like fluticasone or budesonide, which is taken orally to treat eosinophilic esophagitis.
  • The first case of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) was reported in 1977 in an adult patient; however, it was not until the 1990s that it came to be recognized as a distinct clinical entity. The current prevalence in developed countries is between 45 and 55 cases per 100,000 population.

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