Few pediatric data on phenotypic aspects of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) are available. The pEEr registry was developed to prospectively characterize children with EoE from Europe and Israel.
pEEr is an ongoing prospective registry enrolling children with esophageal eosinophilia (≥15 eos/HPF). Anonymized data were collected from 19 pediatric centers. Data regarding demographics, clinical manifestations, endoscopy, histology, and therapies were collected.
A total of 582 subjects (61% male) were analyzed. The median age at diagnosis was 10.5 years [interquartile range (IQR): 5.7–17.7], whereas the age at symptom onset was 9.2 years (IQR: 4.3–16.4), resulting in a median diagnostic delay of 1.2 years (IQR: 0.7–2.3). The diagnostic delay was longer below age <6 years. Shorter diagnostic delays were associated with the presence of food allergy or a family history for EoE. Symptoms varied by age with dysphagia and food impaction more common in adolescents, while vomiting and failure to thrive more common in younger children (P < 0.001). Among endoscopic findings, esophageal rings were more common in adolescents, whereas exudates were more frequent in younger children(P < 0.001). Patients who responded to proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) were more likely to be older, males, and less often presented severe endoscopic findings. Patients unresponsive to PPIs received topical steroids (40%), elimination diet (41%), or a combined therapy (19%).
EoE findings vary according to age in pediatric EoE. Young children are commonly characterized by non-specific symptoms, atopic dermatitis, food allergy, and inflammatory endoscopic lesions. Adolescents usually have dysphagia or food impaction, fibrostenotic lesions, and a better PPI response.