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Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2003 Nov;1(6):433-7.

Endoscopy in eosinophilic esophagitis: "feline" esophagus and perforation risk.

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Section of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Department of Internal Medicine, Rush University, Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612-3824, USA.



Idiopathic eosinophilic esophagitis is an underdiagnosed disease with typical endoscopic findings, which have not been well described.


Charts and pathology reports at two tertiary care centers from June 1993 to April 2002 were reviewed to describe the endoscopic findings of this disease and to correlate them with clinical characteristics. Eight patients were identified as having eosinophilic esophagitis based on clinical symptoms and pathology reports.


Soft and subtle ring(s) in the esophagus were found in 7 of 8 patients. In 3 of 8 patients, the esophagus appeared rigid. Mucosal rents occurred with simple passage of the endoscope in 5 of 8 patients. One patient developed a perforation after simple passage of the endoscope. Endoscopic findings can be normal or very subtle in these patients, and the findings can easily be missed during endoscopy. Tearing of the esophagus can occur with simple passage of the endoscope or biopsy even in the absence of overt rings. A minimum of 8 weeks of medical therapy (proton pump inhibitor, histamine antagonists, immunosuppressants) should be undertaken before considering dilation because of the high risk involved with the procedure and the good response to medical therapy.


We recommend considering dilation only in patients with eosinophilic esophagitis who do not respond to medical therapy and have rings that appear to be obstructing the lumen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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