Dust Mites and Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Given seasonal fluctuation in the activity of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), aeroallergens have been considered a trigger in some patients.

Briefly noted: A recent study (A Ravi et al. Gastroenterol 2019; 157: 255-6, editorial 17) showed that dust mite antigen was present in esophageal biopsy specimens at a greater level in adult patients with EoE compared to controls.  With active EoE, patients had dust mite staining in 1.6% of the field which was significantly greater than patients with inactive EoE (0.7). The control group had a complete absence of epithelial dust mite staining.

The editorial (Seena Aceves) notes that these investigators have also shown gluten accumulation in the EoE esophagus.  Whether dust mite antigens or other specific postulated aeroallergens plays a causative role is unclear.  This study shows the presence of these antigens in the esophagus but does not show whether this is an epiphenomenon due to increased permeability or whether these antigens activate the local immune system.

A second study (T Patton et al. JPGN 2019; 69: e43-e48) describes the outcome of coexisting celiac disease and eosinophilic esophagitis in 22 children (from a cohort of 350 children with celiac disease. 17 had repeat biopsies.  Four of 17 (23.5%) had resolution of EoE with a gluten-free diet.  Related blog post: Is there a Link Between Eosinophilic Esophagitis and Celiac Disease?

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona