Eat More Chicken? (for EoE)

JB Wechsler et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2022; 20: 1748-1756. A Single-Food Milk Elimination Diet Is Effective for Treatment of Eosinophilic Esophagitis in Children

Design: A prospective observational single-center study in 41 children with EoE treated with the 1-food elimination diet (1FED). Upper endoscopy with biopsies was performed after 8 to 12 weeks of treatment. The primary end point was histologic remission, defined as fewer than 15 eosinophils per high-power field.

Key findings:

  • Histologic remission occurred in 21 (51%) children, with a decrease in peak eosinophils per high-power field from a median of 50
  • Endoscopic abnormalities improved in 24 (59%) patients, while symptoms improved in 25 (61%). Improved symptoms included chest pain, dysphagia, and pocketing/spitting out food
  • Interestingly, in terms of all symptom resolution, this was higher in the group of nonresponders 8 (40%) than in the responders 4 (19%)
  • Younger patients (mean 7 yrs vs 12 yrs) and patients with IgE-mediated food allergies tended to be more likely to fail dairy elimination in this study
  • One key caveat is that most patients continued PPI during study; thus it is unknown if stopping a PPI before starting dairy elimination would have changed treatment response. 90% of patients were receiving PPIs at enrollment

My take: This study should prompt more widespread use of dairy elimination as a first line treatment prior to consideration of medications for long-term treatment. This study also reinforces the concept that symptom improvement remains an inadequate indicator of response. Perhaps, Chick-Fil-A marketing needs to be used for our EoE patients to shun cows (cow’s milk in this case).

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Kenai Fjords National Park, near Seward Alaska