Background Although most of the patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) have mucosal and structural changes that could potentially explain their symptoms, it is unclear whether EoE is associated with abnormal esophageal motor function. The aims of this study were to evaluate the esophageal pressure topography (EPT) findings in EoE and to compare them with controls and patients with gastro-esophageal disease (GERD).
Methods Esophageal pressure topography studies in 48 EoE patients, 48 GERD patients, and 50 controls were compared. The esophageal contractile pattern was described for ten 5-mL swallows for each subject and each swallow was secondarily characterized based on the bolus pressurization pattern: absent, pan-esophageal pressurization, or compartmentalized distal pressurization.
Key Results Thirty-seven percent of EoE patients were classified as having abnormal esophageal motility. The most frequent diagnoses were of weak peristalsis and frequent failed peristalsis. Although motility disorders were more frequent in EoE patients than in controls, the prevalence and type were similar to those observed in GERD patients (P = 0.61, chi-square test). Pan-esophageal pressurization was present in 17% of EoE and 2% of GERD patients while compartmentalized pressurization was present in 19% of EoE and 10% of GERD patients. These patterns were not seen in control subjects.
Conclusions & Inferences The prevalence of abnormal esophageal motility in EoE was approximately 37% and was similar in frequency and type to motor patterns observed in GERD. Eosinophilic esophagitis patients were more likely to have abnormal bolus pressurization patterns during swallowing and we hypothesize that this may be a manifestation of reduced esophageal compliance.