Eosinophilic Esophagitis (Pediatric)

What is eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)?

Eosinophillic (e-o-sin-o-fil-ik) esophagitis (e-sof-a-ji’-tis), also known as EoE, is a chronic disease of the immune system. It is an allergic reaction associated with inflammation of the esophagus, the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach.

What are the symptoms of EoE?

Your child may have any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Difficulty eating (the result of a swollen esophagus)
  • Fear of eating, for it is now associated with a troublesome experience
  • Irritability
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Slow or poor growth

How is EoE diagnosed?

EoE is best diagnosed by a gastroenterologist who specializes in problems related to feeding, digestion, and growth and an allergist who understands the effect of the environment and food upon the body.

Our team provides a comprehensive and multidisciplinary evaluation and performs coordinated testing as follows.

  • Your child will have a thorough evaluation with the pediatric gastroenterologist and pediatric allergist. We begin with a detailed patient and family history and completing a full physical examination. We will review your child’s growth chart and other documents from your pediatrician.
  • To confirm this diagnosis, we will also do coordinated blood testing.
  • The next step is an upper endoscopy to evaluate the esophagus. During an endoscopy, your child will be put to sleep with anesthesia and a flexible endoscope (a tube with a small camera attached to the end) will be inserted into your child’s mouth to look at the esophagus.

How is EoE treated?

We usually begin treatment with medication to decreases acid in the esophagus.

The pediatric allergist/immunologist may then perform additional skin and/or blood testing to find out which foods may be causing your child’s symptoms. Based on the results from these tests, we may eliminate certain foods from your child’s diet.

Sometimes, it is necessary to try a diet based on hypoallergenic formula. Together with a nutritionist we design an elimination diet to improve your child’s symptoms related to EoE.

Our allergists, gastroenterologists and dietitians work together to design an individualized treatment plan to improve your child’s EoE related symptoms.