Natural History of EoE -Journal Club (Part 3)

This posting reviews the final article for our eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) journal club: Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2013; 37: 114-21.

Design: Cross-sectional study of adult EoE patients (≥ 18 years) who were diagnosed at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  Patients underwent dysphagia questionnaire, Mayo Dysphagia Questionnaire (MDQ-30), and a patient assessment of upper gastrointestinal disorders quality of life questionnaire (PAGI-QOL). Of 140 eligible patients, 53 completed the questionnaires, 66 were unable to be contacted, and 21 refused to participate.

The MDQ-30 has been validated as a tool for esophageal strictures of 15 mm or smaller.  It has not been confirmed as a EoE dysphagia tool.

Diagnosis: According to the authors, a diagnosis of EoE required a >20 eosinohils/hpf after a 2-month therapeutic trial of proton pump inhibitors.


  • Mean age 20.5 years.  98% were caucasian and 75% were male.  15% had a history of esophageal dilatation.
  • 6/53 had positive dysphagia scores.  However, 18/47 with negative scores reported ongoing difficulty swallowing.
  • 26 (49.1%) of subjects were receiving proton pump inhibitor therapy and 40 (76%) were following allergy-directed dietary elimination.  Most common allergy in this cohort was dairy (49%) followed by peanuts/tree nuts (23%), eggs (9%), wheat (9%), soy (8%), and seafood (2%).**
  • Overall, dietary QOL scores, but not overall QOL scores, were adversely affected by ongoing EoE.

**With regard to dietary therapy, there is a significant discrepancy in reported allergy avoidance in this cohort compared with some previous data published by this center. For example, Liacouras et al (Clin Gastro Hepatol 2006; 3: 1198) reported a  98% improvement with diet treatment (n=351) (2/3rds were treated with elemental diet, mostly NG, with food reintroduction).  Their protocol included rebiopsy after introduction of last new food.  75/242 responded to elimination of specific foods.  Overall pattern of food avoidance after biopsy: milk 45%, eggs 45%, soy 38%, corn 38%, wheat 30%, beef 30%, chicken 20%, potato /oats/peanuts 15%, turkey/barley 11%, pork 8%, rice 5%, green beans 3%, apples /pineapple 1%.*  The reported allergens in this study match up much more closely to a highly-selected group of patients that was more recently reported from their database and is reviewed separately (Picking the right diet for EoE | gutsandgrowth).  In this group, the authors stated that the most common foods by biopsy were the following: milk (35%), egg (13%), wheat (12%), soy (9%), corn (6%).

Study limitations:

  1. Small number of patients
  2. Low response rate/responder bias
  3. Retrospective cross-sectional study -does not provide longitudinal data
  4. Young age of subjects
  5. MDQ-30 not validated for dysphagia in EoE
  6. Tertiary children’s hospital with research focus on EoE
  7. No recent endoscopies in research cohort

Take-home message: EoE is a chronic disease with “little resolution of either symptoms or oesophageal eosinophilia without ongoing treatment.”


3 thoughts on “Natural History of EoE -Journal Club (Part 3)

  1. Pingback: Esophageal distensibility with FLIP and EoE disease severity | gutsandgrowth

  2. Pingback: Looking behind and looking forward in EoE (part 1) | gutsandgrowth

  3. Pingback: Systemic Review of Dietary Treatments for Eosinophilic Esophagitis | gutsandgrowth

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