Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic inflammatory condition of the esophagus, which is the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. EoE is caused by a buildup of a type of white blood cells called eosinophils in the esophagus. These cells cause inflammation, which can lead to a variety of symptoms.
The exact cause of EoE is not well understood. However, it is believed to be an immune-mediated disorder, meaning that the immune system mistakenly identifies certain proteins in food or the environment as harmful and launches an attack against them. This leads to inflammation and damage to the esophagus.
Symptoms of EoE can vary from person to person, but common ones include difficulty swallowing, food getting stuck in the esophagus, chest pain, heartburn, regurgitation, and nausea. Children with EoE may also experience poor growth or failure to thrive. Some people may not have any symptoms at all.
To diagnose EoE, a doctor may perform a procedure called an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) with biopsy. During this procedure, a thin tube with a camera on the end is passed through the mouth into the esophagus, where a small tissue sample is taken and examined for the presence of eosinophils. Blood tests, allergy testing, and imaging tests may also be done to help with the diagnosis.
The goal of treatment for EoE is to reduce inflammation in the esophagus and manage symptoms. This may involve a combination of medication, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications.
Medications such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), steroids, and mast cell stabilizers may be used to help reduce inflammation in the esophagus. Dietary changes may involve avoiding certain foods that trigger symptoms or eliminating entire food groups, such as dairy or wheat. Lifestyle modifications may include eating smaller, more frequent meals, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding lying down for at least three hours after eating.
In some cases, a procedure called esophageal dilation may be performed. This involves gently stretching the esophagus to help widen it and make it easier to swallow. Surgery may also be an option for some people with severe EoE.
Research is ongoing to better understand the causes and treatment options for Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). Ongoing research includes studies on the pathophysiology of the disease, genetic studies, and clinical trials testing new treatments. These research activities aim to deepen our understanding of the underlying causes of EoE, explore genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the development of the disease, and develop new treatment approaches, including medications that target specific mechanisms of the disease. Specifically, there is ongoing research exploring the role of food allergens in triggering EoE and the potential of targeted immunotherapy to treat the disease. Clinical trials are essential in evaluating the safety and efficacy of novel treatments and interventions for EoE, helping to advance the management and care of individuals with this condition.
Eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic inflammatory condition of the esophagus that can cause a range of symptoms. While the exact cause of EoE is not known, it is believed to be an immune-mediated disorder. Treatment for EoE may involve a combination of medication, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications. If you are experiencing symptoms of EoE, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Participate in a Clinical Trial
If you or someone you know is interested in participating in a clinical trial related to eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), there may be options available in your area. Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate new treatments, therapies, or interventions for a particular condition. By participating in a clinical trial, individuals can help advance our understanding of EoE and potentially benefit from new treatment options.
Enrolling in a clinical trial involves meeting certain eligibility criteria and following a study protocol that outlines the procedures, treatments, and assessments involved. Participants may receive compensation for their time and travel expenses. If you are interested in learning more about clinical trials for EoE or other conditions, click here to search for active trials in your area. Also review the Frequently Asked Question section by clicking here. The FAQ answers many questions relating to how to enroll, what should be expected and many other areas of interest.