Infectious esophagitis generally occurs in patients with impaired immunity. Although methods to suppress the immune system evolve, the potential infectious consequences are poorly understood. The purpose of this article is to review the risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious esophagitis.
Minimal pediatric data, including a few case reports and series, involve infectious esophagitis. Esophageal infections are usually caused by the following microbes, in order starting with the most common: Candida albicans, herpes simplex virus, and cytomegalovirus. Uncommon risk factors in these and other reports include epidural triamcinolone and oral budesonide in addition to more common risk factors such as HIV infection, chemotherapeutic agents, and transplant immunosuppressive medications. Rare reports involve immunocompetent patients and treatment of these patients is controversial.
Understanding of infectious esophagitis is growing, and risk factors, diagnosis, and treatments are evolving.
aDivision of Infectious Disease and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics
bDivision of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Levine Children's Hospital, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Correspondence to Niraj C. Patel, MD, MS, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Infectious Disease and Immunology, Levine Children's Hospital at Carolinas Medical Center, PO Box 32861, Charlotte, NC 28203, USA. Tel: +1 704 381 6803; fax: +1 704 381 6841; e-mail: Niraj.Patel@carolinashealthcare.org