#NASPGHAN17 Eosinophilic Esophagitis Session

This blog entry has abbreviated/summarized these presentations. Though not intentional, some important material is likely to have been omitted; in addition, transcription errors are possible as well.

This is a long post –highlighting four separate talks on eosinophilic esophagitis.

PPI Use in Esophageal Eosinophilia: Recommendations from the recent AGREE conference

Glenn Furuta  Children’s Hospital of Colorado

Key points:

The term PPI-REE (proton pump inhibitor-responsive eosinophilic esophagitis) may not be needed.  PPI-REE is quite similar to eosinophilic esophagitis based on molecular and clinical features.  The main difference being that this subset responds to PPI therapy.


Characterization of CYP2C19*17 Polymporphisms Among Children with PPI Responsive EoE and EoE

James Franciosis et al.  Nemours Children’s Hospital Orlando

My take: This cool presentation offered a potential explanation of why some patients respond to PPIs (so called “PPI-REE”) from those with EoE that does not respond to PPIs.  This is pertinent because on a molecular basis the disease appears to be the same.  The difference in PPI-REE from EoE may be how the patient metabolizes PPI.  Those EoE patients who metabolize PPIs “extensively” are much less likely to respond to this therapy.

Eosinophilic esophagitis: Now an “Oldie” -But with increased interest and new research, a “Goodie”

Chris Liacouras  Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

This lecture covered an enormous amount of material.  Here are a few slides.

Final Lecture (from November 3rd presentation):

Key points:

  • Endoflip is a new tool that helps determine esophageal distensibility.  Improved distensibility indicates less fibrostenotic disease which is one long-term goal.
  • Response to treatment has been correlated in improvement in Endoflip measurements.
  • There are no FDA approved medications at this point for EoE, though topical steroids may be approved soon.

Piling on PPIs -Now Concerns about Dementia

A recent study (see abstract below -from Mike Hart) indicates the possibility that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) could increase the risk of dementia to a small degree.  Despite the big numbers, this study cannot adequately control for numerous factors that could influence these results.  As is often said, association does not prove causation.  Nevertheless, this study is another reminder to use PPIs when indicated and to use them for the appropriate length of therapy.

Here’s NBC News Narrative: Popular Heartburn Drugs Linked to Dementia


Association of Proton Pump Inhibitors With Risk of Dementia: A Pharmacoepidemiological Claims Data Analysis

Willy Gomm, PhD1; Klaus von Holt, MD, PhD1; Friederike Thomé, MSc1; Karl Broich, MD2; Wolfgang Maier, MD1,3; Anne Fink, MSc1,4; Gabriele Doblhammer, PhD1,4,5,6; Britta Haenisch, PhD1

JAMA Neurol
. Published online February 15, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.4791

Importance  Medications that influence the risk of dementia in the elderly can be relevant for dementia prevention. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are widely used for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases but have also been shown to be potentially involved in cognitive decline.

Objective  To examine the association between the use of PPIs and the risk of incident dementia in the elderly.

Design, Setting, and Participants  We conducted a prospective cohort study using observational data from 2004 to 2011, derived from the largest German statutory health insurer, Allgemeine Ortskrankenkassen (AOK). Data on inpatient and outpatient diagnoses (coded by the German modification of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision) and drug prescriptions (categorized according to the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System) were available on a quarterly basis. Data analysis was performed from August to November 2015.

Exposures  Prescription of omeprazole, pantoprazole, lansoprazole, esomeprazole, or rabeprazole.

Main Outcomes and Measures  The main outcome was a diagnosis of incident dementia coded by the German modification of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision. The association between PPI use and dementia was analyzed using time-dependent Cox regression. The model was adjusted for potential confounding factors, including age, sex, comorbidities, and polypharmacy.

Results  A total of 73 679 participants 75 years of age or older and free of dementia at baseline were analyzed. The patients receiving regular PPI medication (n = 2950; mean [SD] age, 83.8 [5.4] years; 77.9% female) had a significantly increased risk of incident dementia compared with the patients not receiving PPI medication (n = 70 729; mean [SD] age, 83.0 [5.6] years; 73.6% female) (hazard ratio, 1.44 [95% CI, 1.36-1.52]; P < .001).

Conclusions and Relevance  The avoidance of PPI medication may prevent the development of dementia. This finding is supported by recent pharmacoepidemiological analyses on primary data and is in line with mouse models in which the use of PPIs increased the levels of β-amyloid in the brains of mice. Randomized, prospective clinical trials are needed to examine this connection in more detail.

Related blog post: Proton Pump Inhibitors Webinar

Unrelated article (from Ben Gold): J Molina-Infante et al. Am J Gastroenterol 2015; 110: 1567-1575.  This study examined 75 patients (mean age 38 years) with proton-pump inhibitor responsive esophageal eosinophilia (PPI-REE).  55 (73%) had long-term sustained histologic remission with low-dose PPI therapy (20 mg once or twice daily). In addition, the article noted that 9 of 10 relapsers with distal eosinophilia were noted to have a CYP2C19 rapid metabolizer genotype and regained histologic remission with dose intensification.

Briefly noted: AI Sharara et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2016; 14: 317-21.  Among 414 who met inclusion criteria (at least 6 months of PPI usage and at least 1 serum magnesium level), 57 (13.8%) had at least 1 low serum magnesium –44 of these patients had recognizable causes (eg. diuretics, chronic diarrhea).  Of the remainder who continued with PPI therapy, the level was normal at final measurement and only mildly low levels were noted previously.  Thus, in patients without other reasons for low magnesium, the authors found that use of a PPI does not appear to be associated with hypomagnesemia.


NASPGHAN Postgraduate Course 2014 -3rd Module

This blog entry has abbreviated/summarized the presentations. Though not intentional, some important material is likely to have been omitted; in addition, transcription errors are possible as well.  All of the speakers had terrific presentations.  The course syllabus is attached:

PG Course Syllabus 2014

The 3rd Module had a “potpourri” of GI problems.

Extraesophageal Manifestations of Gastroesophageal Reflux –Ben Gold, MD (GI Care For Kids, Atlanta) (pg 86)

Is reflux really the scurge of the earth and the cause of every malady known to human-kind in the head, neck, and lungs…?

Key points:

Airway protection: “Aerodigestive disease reflexes are intact by 38 weeks gestation.”

Central deglutition apnea: a normal protective mechanism to prevent aspiration during swallowing. (Hasenstab KA, Jadcherla, S. J Pediatr 2014; 165:250-255).  No proof at present that central apnea is caused by reflux though there is a biologic plausibility.

“Although reflux causes physiologic apnea, it causes pathologic apneic episodes in only a very small number of newborns and infants.”  “When reflux causes pathological apnea, the infant is more likely to be awake and the apnea is more likely to be obstructive in nature.”

Laryngeal Reflux:

  • Chronic cough, chronic laryngitis, hoarseness, and asthma may be associated with GERD BUT the data showing a relation between reflux and upper airway disease are weak
  • Airway symptoms attributed to reflux in adults include hoarseness, chronic cough, and globus sensation
  • Affected adults rarely have typical reflux symptoms
  • The sensitivity of laryngoscopic findings to identify reflux disease are poor. Sherman et al. Am J Gastroenterol. 2009;104:1278-95. Vandenplas et al. J Pediatr Gastroenter Nutr. 2009;49:498-547.


“Chronic cough, chronic laryngitis, hoarseness and asthma are multifactorial disease processes and acid reflux can be an aggravating cofactor.” GER is an unlikely contributor to asthma if reflux testing is negative.

“Two NIH-funded blinded, randomized placebo-controlled trials (RCT), one in adults (using esomeprazole), one in children (using lansoprazole) showed NO difference in asthma outcomes comparing placebo and acid suppression therapy”

Multi-Channel Intraluminal Impedance/pH probe studies: Pediatric studies are critically needed to determine if knowing the amount of nonacid reflux changes treatment or outcome

Proton Pump Inhibitors can cause gastric bacterial overgrowth (Rosen R et al JAMA Pediatr 2014; JAMA Pediatr. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.696)

Ben Gold (speaker) and Jay Hochman prior to 5K Run

Ben Gold (speaker) and Jay Hochman prior to 5K Run

Related blog posts:

EoE: PPI, PPI-REE, TCS, OVB, SFED, 4FED….…Alphabet Distress — Sandeep K Gupta, MD (Indiana University) pg 105 in Syllabus

Treatment endpoints discussed -histologic, symptomatic, fibrosis, etc.

  • Proton pump inhibitor responsive eosinophilic esophagitis (PPI-REE) may work by blocking STAT6 binding to Eotaxin-3 promoter rather than by acid suppression (PLos ONE 2012;7:e50037).  PPIs work (eos <6/hpf) in in 30-40%.  May need high dose to work long-term (Dr Molina-Infante – DDW 2014)
  • Topical corticosteroids (TCS) -higher dose = better response.  (Budesonide. Gupta SK, Vitanza J, Collins, MH Clin Gastro Hepatol 2014 [ePub], Fluticasone. Butz BK. Gastroenterology 2014). Clinical symptoms do not correlate with histologic response. Discussed long term safety concerns.
  • Reviewed diets -elemental, targeted, 4-food elimination and 6-food elimination.

Related blog posts:

“Gotta keep on movin”: New tricks and treatments for motility disorders –Carlo DiLorenzo (Nationwide Children’s Hospital) pg 116 in Syllabus

Key points:

  1. Most important motility study is a normal study.  If normal study, then there is more concern for sensory dysfunction.   Look for significant findings on motility studies not minor changes.
  2. Key to confirm if motility disorder is present. Hx/o small intestinal transplant in medical child abuse/Munchausen syndrome by proxy (Trans Proc 1996; 28: 2790)
  3. New tool: wireless motility capsule (J Pediatr. 2013;162:1181-7)
  4. Easier to obtain full thickness biopsies (Gastrointest Endosc 2011;73:949-54)

Treatments reviewed -“try everything”

  • prucalopride (JPGN 2014; 57: 197-203
  • cisapride -still available
  • lubiprostone (JPGN 2014;58:283–291)
  • linaclotide boxed warning not for <17 years of age –though has been used by motility specialists
  • cyproheptadine (J Pediatr 2013; 163: 261-7) –use in dyspepsia
  • fludrocortisone -used in orthostatic intolerance
  • augmentin -for small bowel motility (JPGN 2012;54: 780–784)
  • octreotide -for bowel motility
  • pyridostigmine (Colorectal Disease 2010 12, 540–548)
  • iberogast
  • botulinum toxin (Gastrointest Endosc. 2012 ;75:302-9)
  • treat bacterial overgrowth
  • surgery: Jube, GJ tube, ileostomy. “Every child with pseudoobstruction on TPN needs a gastrostomy and an ileostomy –(me, now)”
  • gastric electrical stimulation
  • emerging treatment: Elobixibat (for constipation) Expert Opin. Investig. Drugs

Related blog posts:

What’s New in the Diagnosis and Management of Constipation –Manu Sood (Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin) -page 130 in Syllabus

Reviewed recent guidelines from NASPGHAN

“Miralax is considered a 1st line agent”

Outcomes in children with constipation:

  • Almost 50% of patients experienced at least one relapse in first 5 yrs.
  • Almost 20% of children were symptomatic at 10 yrs. follow up (Bongers ME, et al. Pediatrics. 2010)


  • Slow transit is common
  • Rectal compliance does not predict success with treatment. Van den Berg MM, et al. Gastroenterology 2009.  Patients with mega-rectum may have motility disturbance as well.
  • Success rates for antegrade continence enemas (ACE) 65% to 89%. Colon manometry can help predict ACE success.  Up to 40% may be able to stop ACE w/in 2 years

Related blog posts:

The Latest on EoE and PPI-REE

A recent study shows similar clinical, endoscopic and histologic findings between eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and proton pump inhibitor-responsive esophageal eosinophilia (PPI-REE) (Aliment Pharmacol There 2014; 39: 603-08 -thanks to Seth Marcus for this reference).

The authors used two databases: one from Walter Reed and one from the Swiss EoE database.  All of these patients were >/=18 years.  Response to PPI was defined as achieving less than 15 eos/hpf and a 50% decrease from baseline following at least 6-weeks of PPI treatment.

Demographics: 63 EoE patients, 40 PPI-REE, mean age 40 years (75% male, 89% Caucasian).


  • Similar dysphagia 97% vs. 100% (in EoE and  of PPI-REE cohorts)
  • Similar food impaction 43% vs. 35% (in EoE and  of PPI-REE cohorts)
  • Similar heartburn 33% vs. 32% (in EoE and  of PPI-REE cohorts)
  • Similar duration of symptoms: 6.0 years vs 5.8 years (in EoE and  of PPI-REE cohorts)
  • Similar endoscopic findings too: rings 68% in both groups, furrows 70% in both groups, strictures 49% vs 30% (in EoE and  of PPI-REE cohorts)
  • Similar histology: proximal esophagus 39 vs 38 eos/hpf and distal esophagus 50 vs 43 eos/hpf

Take-home message: EoE and PPI-REE are very similar in presentation and indistinguishable without a PPI trial.

Related blog posts:



Nexium versus Fluticasone for EoE

As noted in previous blog posts (EoEDrugsDietsDilatation and PPI-REE | gutsandgrowthEoE –Journal Club (Part 1) | gutsandgrowth, and EoE –Journal Club (Part 2) | gutsandgrowth), proton pump inhibitors are recommended as 1st line therapy in suspected eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) for several reasons.  Besides the potential for gastroesophageal reflux to cause esophageal eosinophilia, there has been recognition of PPI-responsive eosinophilic esophagitis (PPI-REE).  In adults, the response to proton pump inhibitors, both clinically and histologically, is likely higher than in children; nevertheless, in children it is anticipated that 20-40% of patients with suspected EoE will have a histological remission with PPI therapy.

A recent study in adults suggests that PPIs may in fact outperform topical steroids (Am J Gastroenterol 2013; 108: 366-72).  Thanks to Ben Gold and Seth Marcus for identifying this reference.  This study enrolled 42 patients: 90% male, 81% white, mean age 38 years. It was a prospective single-blinded, randomized controlled trial with newly suspected EoE; half of the patients received esomeprazole 40 mg daily and half fluticasone swallowed aerosol 440 mcg twice a day.  After 8 weeks, all patients had repeat endoscopy; a total of eight biopsies were obtained –four at two locations: 15 cm above LES and 3 cm above LES.  In addition, at the start of the study, patients also underwent 24-h pH/impedance monitoring.  4 of the 21 patients in each group had abnormal degrees of gastroesophageal reflux/gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Study characteristics note that 62% of patients had coexisting atopic disorders.


  • There was no significant difference in esophageal eosinophilia response with 19% of the fluticasone and 33% of the esomeprazole achieving an eosinophil count < 5/hpf (P=0.484)
  • In patients with coexisting GERD, all 4 esomeprazole patients achieved histologic remission  compared with none of the fluticasone-treated patients.
  • When the GERD patients were excluded, the histological remission was quite similar: 24% with fluticasone and 18% for esomeprazole.

Overall, this study population had a lower rate of response to topical steroids than in multiple previous studies.  More typically, response rates of ~50% have been reported; however, studies have shown lower responses in some adult studies.  Variability in response could be related to multiple factors included dosage, duration, delivery, and definition of response.  In addition, population characteristics included disease duration and frequency of underlying atopic disease and GERD play a role.

Take-home points: Although this is a small study, it reinforces the fact that PPIs induce a histological response and clinical response in some patients suspected of having EoE regardless of whether GERD is present.  PPIs are considered 1st line therapy.  Topical fluticasone had a lower response rate in this study.  However, in clinical pediatric practice, topical steroids are effective in about 50% of patients.

Additional related blog entries:

EoE -Journal Club (Part 2)

The third article for our journal club: Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2013; 37: 1157-64.

This study involved a literature search which identified 10 articles which described the impact of proton pump inhibitor therapy for suspected eosinophilic esophagitis.  In total, these articles describe 258 patients (152 children and 106 adults).  Five of the studies were retrospective series.  The others included two randomized controlled trials, one randomized noncontrolled trial, and two prospective series.

Results: after PPI treatment, a clinical response was noted in 69% overall and histologic remission was evident in a mean of 44%.  Histologic remission was lower in children (23%-40%).  In two adult studies, both randomized controlled trials, PPI therapy (esomeprazole 40 mg/day) outperformed topical steroids (fluticasone 440 mcg bid); histologic remission was seen in 33% with PPI in both trials compared with 15% and 19% with fluticasone.

Key points in discussion:

  • PPI trial “is mandatory not only to confirm the presence of EoE, but to evaluate for PPI responsiveness.”  Yet, in surveys, …”only one-third of physicians thought it is necessary to initiate a PPI trial before diagnosing EoE.”
  • No clinical, endoscopic, histologic features nor pH testing “have demonstrated capacity to predict response to PPI therapy.”
  • PPI-REE “occurs in at least one-third of patients with suspected EoE, with response rates lower in children.”  Adults may have a higher response due to coexisting gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Related blog entry: gutsandgrowth | Pediatric Gastroenterology

EoE -Journal Club (Part 1)

This week our Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) journal club is meeting.  The first article had previously been reviewed on this blog: SFED works for EoE! | gutsandgrowth.

The second article examines the “Effect of Proton Pump Inhibitor on Esophageal Eosinophilia” (JPGN 2013; 56: 166-72). PPI responsive esophageal eosinophilia (PPI-REE) has also been discussed previously on this blog (EoE: Drugs, Diets, Dilatation and PPIREE | gutsandgrowth); this article adds additional information to this subject and highlights the possibility of transient PPI-REE.

Design: retrospective review of 204 children with EoE (criteria included ≥15 dos/hpf) over an 11 year time span.  Only 35 subjects met the criteria of having an endoscopy before and after an exclusive 8-week trial of PPI (1-2 mg/kg/day).

Results: 8 of 35 subjects had clinical response and 7 had biopsy-confirmed response to PPIs ( 23%).  In five patients with durable response, mean eosinophil count decreased from 92 to 5 eos/hpf.  In addition, eosinophil peroxidase index (EPX) declined from 39.2 to 14.6.  Two patients experienced relapse despite initial PPI-responsiveness.  Clinical and histologic relapse occurred at 17 and 23 months respectively.  However, of the 5 subjects who did not experience relapse, average followup reported in study was only 8 months.

Study limitations: small number of patients, limited geographical area, tertiary medical center study, retrospective study, uncertain compliance with therapy, and variable dosing of PPIs

Take-home points:

  • No clinicopathologic features distinguished patients with PPI-REE from EoE patients or patients with transient PPI-REE. Yet, 23% (8/35) of initial cohort showed resolution of symptoms and 7/35 had resolution of esophageal inflammation after PPI treatment.
  • Potential explanations for transient PPI-REE: lack of PPI adherence, missed detection of EoE after PPI trial (patchy disease), variation in allergenic exposure, diminished effect of PPIs over time, fluctuation in EoE disease course unrelated to PPI usage

Related blog entries:

Also, for those of you who read all the way to the bottom, here’s a link to a culturally significant (aka viral video) advertisement that I thought was amusing (potty humor):

Kmart Big Gas Savings Ad (Video) – Daily Picks and Flicks

EoE: Drugs, Diets, Dilatation and PPI-REE

PPI-REE or proton pump inhibitor-responsive esophageal eosinophilia remains a problematic issue for our eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) patients.  PPI-REE and the 3 D’s (Drugs, diet, and dilatation) have been reviewed recently (Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2012; 10: 1066-78).

The issues with PPI-REE that are problematic:

  • If a patient with suspected EoE is pretreated with a PPI and they do not have eosinophils present at the time of endoscopy then a diagnosis of PPI-REE cannot be established.
  • If patients are not pretreated, then determining that they have PPI-REE compared with typical EoE, requires repeat endoscopy.  Furthermore, response to PPI may be transient and/or natural variation in EoE could make definitive diagnosis of PPI-REE quite difficult.
  • If a patient presents with classic-appearing EoE, choosing to treat with a PPI is difficult as the response rate is much lower than with either dietary therapy or drug therapy.  In addition, many symptomatic patients may have been treated to some extent with a PPI.  Do they warrant repeat treatment and repeat endoscopy prior to using more typical treatment for EoE?

Beyond this topic, this review covers the recent consensus guidelines and the typical treatments: diets, drugs, and dilatation.

With regard to dilatation, the author notes that it may be safer than previously believed.  Furthermore, in a recent trial, 81% were symptom free at 3 months and 46% were symptom free at 1 year.  Despite better safety results, 74% of patients in one study complained of retrosternal pain after in endoscopy (moderate in 21% and severe in 17%).

With regard to drug or dietary therapy, the author recommends checking on the effectiveness after 6-8 weeks with a repeat endoscopy.  Until better tools for assessing response to therapy become available, endoscopy remains the only accurate way to determine if treatment is working.

Related blog entries: