Eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE), first described in the early 1990s, has rapidly evolved as a distinctive chronic inflammatory oesophageal disease with increasing incidence and prevalence in the westernized countries. Currently, EoE represents the main cause of dysphagia in adult patients. This disease is more prevalent in males and is frequently associated with allergies. The diagnosis is established based on the presence of oesophageal symptoms and dense eosinophilic oesophageal infiltration once other conditions leading to oesophageal eosinophilia are excluded. It is currently under discussion to what extent and by which methods allergic testing should be performed. Topical corticosteroids lead to a rapid improvement of active EoE clinically and histologically. Especially in children, elimination diets can have similar efficacy as topical corticosteroids. Oesophageal dilation of EoE-induced oesophageal strictures can also be effective in improving symptoms, but this therapy has no effect on the underlying inflammation. Neither the diagnostic nor the long-term therapeutic strategies are as yet defined.
Cite this as: A. M. Schoepfer, D. Simon and A. Straumann, Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2011 (41) 630–639.