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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2014 Mar;39(6):603-8. doi: 10.1111/apt.12636. Epub 2014 Jan 26.

Eosinophilic oesophagitis and proton pump inhibitor-responsive oesophageal eosinophilia have similar clinical, endoscopic and histological findings.

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Gastroenterology Service, Department of Medicine, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD, USA.



Some patients with a phenotypic appearance of eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE) respond histologically to PPI, and are described as having PPI-responsive oesophageal eosinophilia (PPI-REE). It is unclear if PPI-REE is a GERD-related phenomenon, a subtype of EoE, or a completely unique entity.


To compare demographic, clinical and histological features of EoE and PPI-REE.


Two databases were reviewed from the Walter Reed and Swiss EoE databases. Patients were stratified into two groups, EoE and PPI-REE, based on recent EoE consensus guidelines. Response to PPI was defined as achieving less than 15 eos/hpf and a 50% decrease from baseline following at least a 6-week course of treatment.


One hundred and three patients were identified (63 EoE and 40 PPI-REE; mean age 40.2 years, 75% male and 89% Caucasian). The two cohorts had similar dysphagia (97% vs. 100%, P = 0.520), food impaction (43% vs. 35%, P = 0.536), and heartburn (33% vs. 32%, P = 1.000) and a similar duration of symptoms (6.0 years vs. 5.8 years, P = 0.850). Endoscopic features were also similar between EoE and PPI-REE; rings (68% vs. 68%, P = 1.000), furrows (70% vs. 70%, P = 1.000), plaques (19% vs. 10%, P = 0.272), strictures (49% vs. 30%, P = 0.066). EoE and PPI-REE were similar in the number of proximal (39 eos/hpf vs. 38 eos/hpf, P = 0.919) and distal eosinophils (50 vs. 43 eos/hpf, P = 0.285).


EoE and PPI-responsive oesophageal eosinophilia are similar in clinical, histological and endoscopic features and therefore are indistinguishable without a PPI trial. Further studies are needed to determine why a subset of patients with oesophageal eosinophilia respond to PPI.

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