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Am J Gastroenterol. 2003 Apr;98(4):777-82.

Elemental diet is an effective treatment for eosinophilic esophagitis in children and adolescents.

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Divisions of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.



Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a disorder characterized by eosinophilic infiltration of the esophageal mucosa, has been defined in large part through published case reports and series leading to ambiguity in both diagnostic and treatment options. Corticosteroids, cromolyn, and elemental diet have all been reported as successful treatments for EoE. In this study, we sought to accurately define a population of patients with EoE and then assess their response to elemental diet.


A series of patients with chronic symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease and an isolated esophageal eosinophilia on esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) were identified. Therapy with a proton pump inhibitor was instituted for 3 months, followed by repeat EGD when symptoms persisted. A 24-h pH probe study was performed, and those with significantly abnormal studies were excluded. The remaining patients were diagnosed with EoE and placed on an elemental diet for 1 month, followed by a repeat EGD.


Of 346 patients with chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms and eosinophils on esophageal biopsy, 51 (14.7%) were ultimately diagnosed with EoE. There was significant improvement in vomiting, abdominal pain, and dysphagia after the elemental diet. The median number of esophageal eosinophils per high-powered field (HPF) decreased from 33.7 before the diet to 1.0 after the diet (p <0.01). The average time to clinical improvement was 8.5 days.


Elemental diet resulted in striking improvement in both symptoms and histologic evidence of disease in children and adolescents with EoE, as identified by strict diagnostic criteria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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