Safety of dilation in adults with eosinophilic esophagitis


  • Disclosure: The opinions are solely those of the authors and do not represent an endorsement by the Department of Defense. There are no restrictions on its use. The authors do not have any commercial or proprietary interest in any drug, device, or equipment mentioned in the manuscript. There are no conflicts of interest, financial disclosures, grant support, or writing assistance.

Dr Mazer R. Ally, MD, Gastroenterology Service, Department of Medicine, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, 8901 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD 20889, USA. Email:


Esophageal dilation is an effective therapy for dysphagia in patients with stenosing eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). Historically, there have been significant concerns of increased perforation rates when dilating EoE patients. More recent studies suggest that improved techniques and increased awareness have decreased complication rates. The aim of this study was to explore the safety of dilation in our population of EoE patients. A retrospective review of all adult EoE patients enrolled in a registry from 2006 to 2010 was performed. All patients who underwent esophageal dilation during this time period were identified and included in the analysis. Our hospital inpatient/outpatient medical records, radiology reports, and endoscopy reports were searched for evidence of any complication following dilation. Perforation, hemorrhage, and hospitalization were identified as a major complication, and chest pain was considered a minor complication. One hundred and ninety-six patients (41 years [12]; mean age [standard deviation], 80% white, 85% male) were identified. In this cohort, 54 patients (28%) underwent 66 total dilations (seven patients underwent two dilations, one patient underwent three dilations, and one patient underwent four dilations). Three dilation techniques were used (Maloney [24], Savary [29] and through-the-scope [13]). There were no major complications encountered. Chest pain was noted in two patients (4%). There were no endoscopic features (rings, furrows, plaques) associated with any complication. Type of dilator, size of dilator, number of prior dilations, and age of patient were also not associated with complications. Endoscopic dilation using a variety of dilators can be safely performed with minimal complications in patients with EoE.