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14 Years of Eosinophilic Esophagitis: Clinical Features and Prognosis

Spergel, Jonathan M*,†; Brown-Whitehorn, Terri F*,†; Beausoleil, Janet L*,†; Franciosi, James; Shuker, Michele*; Verma, Ritu†,‡; Liacouras, Chris A†,‡

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: January 2009 - Volume 48 - Issue 1 - p 30–36
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3181788282
Original Articles: Gastroenterology

Objective: To determine the natural history of treated and untreated eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) and examine the presenting symptoms of EE.

Patients and Methods: Retrospective and prospective chart review of all patients diagnosed with EE at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. EE was defined as greater than 20 eosinophils per high power field after treatment with reflux medications.

Results: We identified 620 patients in our database in the last 14 years and 330 patients with greater than 1 year of follow-up for analysis. The number of new EE patients has increased on an annual basis. Of the patients presenting with EE, 68% were younger than 6 years old. Reflux symptoms and feeding issues/failure to thrive were the most common presenting symptoms for EE. Eleven patients had resolution of all of their food allergies and 33 patients had resolutions of some of their food allergies. No patients have progression of EE into other gastrointestinal disorders.

Conclusions: EE is a chronic disease with less than 10% of the population developing tolerance to their food allergies. EE does not progress into other gastrointestinal diseases.

*Divisions of Allergy and Immunology, Philadelphia

Gastroenterology and Nutrition, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia

Received 27 November, 2007

Accepted 1 April, 2008

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Jonathan M. Spergel, MD, PhD, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Wood 5314, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4399 (e-mail:

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.