Eosinophilic esophagitis: pathophysiology and its clinical implications.
ABSTRACT: Classically, eosinophilic esophagitis is an antigen-mediated chronic disease distinct from gastroesophageal reflux disease. Eosinophilic esophagitis is an emerging clinical problem that is growing in recognition. It is characterized clinically by feeding dysfunction, dysphagia, and reflux-like symptoms. Histologically, eosinophilic esophagitis is identifiable by a dense epithelial eosinophilic infiltrate. Experimental modeling and clinical studies over the last decade have greatly improved mechanistic insights and led to improvements in clinical understanding and the assessment of therapeutic options for patients and their clinicians who manage this disease. Here, we review the clinicopathologic diagnostic criteria and our understanding of eosinophilic esophagitis as an allergic disease with genetic and immunological components. We present studies defining the importance of the epithelial barrier and the concept of barrier dysfunction as an initiating or perpetuating factor for this disease. We discuss the relationship between the symptoms of dysphagia and feeding dysfunction, our current knowledge of the underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms, and advances in clinical assessment of esophageal distensibility and narrowing in eosinophilic esophagitis patients. Finally, therapeutic implications relating to the advances that have led to our current understanding of the pathophysiology of eosinophilic esophagitis are explored.
Project description:Esophagitis is mainly a consequence of gastroesophageal reflux disease, one of the most common diseases affecting the upper digestive tract. However the esophageal mucosa can also be targeted by some infectious, systemic or chemical conditions. Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an immune-mediated inflammatory disease, characterized by eosinophilic infiltration in the mucosa. Esophageal localization of Crohn's disease is not very common, but it should always be considered in patients with inflammatory bowel disease complaining of upper digestive tract symptoms. There are also forms of infectious esophagitis (e.g., Herpes simplex virus or Candida albicans) occurring in patients with a compromised immune system, either because of specific diseases or immunosuppressive therapies. Another kind of damage to esophageal mucosa is due to drug use (including oncologic chemotherapeutic regimens and radiotherapy) or caustic ingestion, usually of alkaline liquids, with colliquative necrosis and destruction of mucosa within a few seconds. Dysphagia is a predominant symptom in EoE, while infectious, drug-induced and caustic damages usually cause chest pain and odynophagia. Endoscopy can be useful for diagnosing esophagitis, although no specific pattern can be identified. In conclusion when a patient refers upper gastrointestinal tract symptoms and the diagnosis of gastro-esophageal reflux disease is not convincing we should always carefully investigate the patient's clinical history to consider possibilities other than the gastric refluxate.
Project description:Over the last year, significant steps have been made toward understanding the pathogenesis of esophageal diseases and translating this knowledge to clinical practice. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the most common outpatient diagnosis in gastroenterology and has a high prevalence in the general population. As many as 40% of patients with GERD have incomplete response to medical therapy, and the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying lack of response are now better understood. Novel medical and minimally invasive interventions are available to optimize management of GERD. Esophageal cancer, regardless of the histological subtype, has among the worst survival statistics among all malignancies. Taking advantage of technological advances in genome sequencing, the mutational spectra in esophageal cancer are now emerging, offering novel avenues for targeted therapies. Early diagnosis is another strand for improving survival. While genome-wide association studies are providing insights into genetic susceptibility, novel approaches to early detection of cancer are being devised through the use of biomarkers applied to esophageal samples and as part of imaging technologies. Dysmotility and eosinophilic esophagitis are the differential diagnoses in patients with dysphagia. New pathophysiological classifications have improved the management of motility disorders. Meanwhile, exciting progress has been made in the endoscopic management of these conditions. Eosinophilic esophagitis is still a relatively new entity, and the pathogenesis remains poorly understood. However, it is now clear that an allergic reaction to food plays an important role, and dietary interventions as well as biologic agents to block the inflammatory cascade are novel, promising fields of clinical research.
Project description:The Pediatric Eosinophilic Esophagitis Symptom Score (PEESS v2.0) measures patient-relevant outcomes. However, whether patient-identified domains (dysphagia, gastroesophageal reflux disease [GERD], nausea/vomiting, and pain) align with clinical symptomology and histopathologic and molecular features of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is unclear.The purpose of this study was to determine whether clinical features of EoE, measured through PEESS v2.0, associate with histopathologic and molecular features of EoE. This represents a novel approach for analysis of allergic diseases, given the availability of allergic tissue biopsy specimens.We systematically recruited treated and untreated pediatric patients with EoE (aged 2-18 years) and examined parent proxy-reported symptoms using the PEESS v2.0. Clinical symptomology was collected by questionnaire. Esophageal biopsy samples were quantified for levels of eosinophils, eosinophil peroxidase (EPX) immunohistochemical staining, and mast cells. Molecular features were assessed by using the EoE Diagnostic Panel (94 EoE-related gene transcripts). Associations between domain scores and clinical symptoms and biological features were analyzed with Wilcoxon rank sum and Spearman correlation.The PEESS v2.0 domains correlated to specific parent-reported symptoms: dysphagia (P = .0012), GERD (P = .0001), and nausea/vomiting (P < .0001). Pain correlated with multiple symptoms (P < .0005). Dysphagia correlated most strongly with overall histopathology, particularly in the proximal esophagus (P ? .0049). Markers of esophageal activity (EPX) were significantly associated with dysphagia (strongest r = 0.37, P = .02). Eosinophil levels were more associated with pain (r = 0.27, P = .06) than dysphagia (r = 0.24, P = .13). The dysphagia domain correlated most with esophageal gene transcript levels, predominantly with mast cell-specific genes.We have (1) established a validated, parent proxy-reported measure for pediatric EoE, the PEESS v2.0; (2) verified that the parent proxy effectively captures symptoms; (3) determined that the dysphagia domain most closely aligns with symptoms and tissue-based molecular biomarkers; (4) established that symptoms correlate with EPX staining; and (5) observed association between mast cells and dysphagia.
Project description:Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is difficult to distinguish from gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) and other causes of dysphagia. We assessed the utility of a set of clinical and endoscopic features for predicting EoE without obtaining esophageal biopsies.We prospectively enrolled consecutive adults undergoing outpatient upper endoscopy at the University of North Carolina from July 2011 through December 2013. Incident cases of EoE were diagnosed per consensus guidelines. Non-EoE controls had either GERD- or dysphagia-predominant symptoms. A predictive model containing clinical and endoscopic, but no histological, data was assessed. Receiver operator characteristic curves were constructed and the area under the curve (AUC) was calculated.A total of 81 EoE cases (mean age 38 years; 60% male; 93% white; 141 eosinophils per high-power field (eos/hpf)) and 144 controls (mean age 52, 38% male; 82% white; 3 eos/hpf) were enrolled. A combination of clinical (age, sex, dysphagia, food allergy) and endoscopic (rings, furrows, plaques, hiatal hernia) features was highly predictive of EoE. The AUC was 0.944, with sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 84, 97, and 92%. Similar values were seen after limiting controls to those with only reflux or dysphagia or to those with esophageal eosinophilia not due to EoE.We validated a set of clinical and endoscopic features to predict EoE with a high degree of accuracy and allow identification of those at very low risk of disease. Use of these predictors at the point-of-care will avoid the effort and expense of low-yield histological examinations for EoE.
Project description:Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic and progressive immune-mediated condition defined by symptoms of esophageal dysfunction and dense eosinophilic infiltration of the esophageal mucosa. Therapies consist of anti-eosinophilic medications and specialized diets aimed to decrease the progression of EoE and alleviate its symptoms, namely, dysphagia and food impaction. Assessing response to therapy remains challenging, as treatment end points are not well defined and currently consist of clinical, histologic, and endoscopic features. Newer validated measures may help standardize treatment end points. Emerging data support the use of maintenance therapy, which may reduce disease progression. Optimal dosages, delivery techniques, and duration of treatment need to be determined. When features of fibrostenosis develop, esophageal dilation is a safe and effective adjunctive strategy for improving symptoms. In EoE cases refractory to conventional treatments, newer therapies targeting inflammatory mediators and cytokines are on the horizon.
Project description:Eosinophilic esophagitis is an emerging disease that is distinguished from gastroesophageal reflux disease by the expression of a unique esophageal transcriptome and the interplay of early life environmental factors with distinct genetic susceptibility elements at 5q22 (TSLP) and 2p23 (CAPN14). Rare genetic syndromes have uncovered the contribution of barrier disruption, mediated in part by defective desmosomes and dysregulated transforming growth factor beta production and signaling, to eosinophilic esophagitis pathophysiology. Experimental modeling has defined a cooperative role of activated eosinophils, mast cells, and the cytokines IL-5 and IL-13, mediated by allergic sensitization to multiple foods. Understanding these processes is opening the way to better treatment based on disrupting allergic inflammatory and type 2 cytokine-mediated responses, including anti-cytokine therapeutics and dietary therapy.
Project description:Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an allergy-mediated disease culminating in severe eosinophilic inflammation and dysfunction of the esophagus. This chronic disorder of the esophagus causes significant morbidity, poor quality of life, and complications involving fibrosis and esophageal remodeling. Overlapping features between EoE and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) pose great challenges to differentiating the two conditions, although the two disorders are not mutually exclusive. Recent findings suggest that the confounding condition proton pump inhibitor - responsive esophageal eosinophilia (PPI-REE) is likely a subset of EoE. Since PPIs have therapeutic properties that can benefit EoE, PPIs should be considered as a therapeutic option for EoE rather than a diagnostic screen to differentiate GERD, PPI-REE, and EoE. Other current treatments include dietary therapy, corticosteroids, and dilation. Immunomodulators and biologic agents might have therapeutic value, and larger trials are needed to assess efficacy and safety. Understanding the pathophysiology of EoE is critical to the development of novel therapeutics.
Project description:Eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic immune-mediated esophageal disorder. For its timely diagnosis, clinicians must recognize common symptoms, and understand differences in symptoms across patient groups. The aim of this study is to systematically review the epidemiology and natural history of eosinophilic esophagitis. The MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane databases were searched from 1974 to February 2017 for studies describing the epidemiology and natural history of eosinophilic esophagitis. Congress abstracts from 2014 to 2016 were also searched. Search results were screened against predetermined inclusion/exclusion criteria by two independent reviewers, and data extraction was performed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Of 1376 articles identified, 47 met the inclusion criteria: 20 on epidemiology and 27 on natural history. Incidence and prevalence of eosinophilic esophagitis varied widely across North America and Europe, and increased over time. Incidence increased 131-fold in the Netherlands (1996-2010), 20-fold in Denmark (1997-2006), and 5.1-fold in Calgary, Canada (2004-2008). The most commonly reported symptoms were emesis and abdominal pain in children, and dysphagia and food impaction in adults. Age at diagnosis was 5.9-12.0 years in children, and approximately 30 years in adults. Time between symptom onset and diagnosis was 1.2-3.5 years in children and 3.0-8.0 years in adults. Diagnostic delay was associated with an increased risk of endoscopic features of fibrostenosis. Symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis differed significantly by age and race. In conclusion, there is an increasing incidence and prevalence of eosinophilic esophagitis. The considerable delay between symptom onset and diagnosis suggests that clinicians do not readily recognize the disease, which may have important clinical ramifications.
Project description:Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a recently recognized inflammatory disease of the esophagus with clinical symptoms derived from esophageal dysfunction. The etiology of EoE is now being elucidated, and food hypersensitivity is emerging as the central cornerstone of disease pathogenesis. Herein, we present a thorough picture of the current clinical, pathologic, and molecular understanding of the disease with a focus on disease mechanisms.
Project description:The aim of this study was to investigate histomorphological and immunophenotypic features in pill-induced esophagitis. We comparatively evaluated the histomorphological, immunophenotypic features of pill-induced esophagitis vs. reflux esophagitis, as well as clinical information and endoscopic findings. Fifty-two tissue pieces from 22 cases of pill-induced esophagitis, 46 pieces from 20 reflux esophagitis, and 16 pieces from 14 control samples were subjected to immunohistochemistry for inflammatory infiltrates (CD3 for T lymphocyte, CD20 for B lymphocyte, CD56 for NK cell, CD68 for macrophage, CD117 for mast cell) and eosinophil chemotaxis-associated proteins (Erk, leptin, leptin receptor, pSTAT3, phospho-mTOR). As a result, Histomorphology showed that a diffuse pattern of dilated intercellular spaces was more frequently observed in pill-induced esophagitis, while reactive atypia and subepithelial papillary elongation were more often found in reflux esophagitis (P < 0.05, respectively). Interestingly, intraepithelial eosinophilic microabscess, intraepithelial pustule and diffuse pattern of dilated intercellular spaces were observed in 14% (3 cases), 9% (2 cases) and 32% (7 cases) of pill-induced esophagitis, respectively, but in no cases of reflux esophagitis. Regarding intraepithelial inflammatory infiltrates in pill-induced esophagitis, T lymphocytes were the most common cells, followed by eosinophil; 11 and 7 in one x400 power field, respectively. Intraepithelial pSTAT3-positive pattern was more frequently observed in pill-induced esophagitis than in reflux esophagitis, at 45% (10 cases) versus 10% (2 cases), respectively (P < 0.05). Considering the distal esophageal lesion only, intraepithelial pustule, diffuse dilated intercellular spaces and stromal macrophages were more frequently found in distal pill-induced esophagitis, whereas reactive atypia and intraepithelial mast cells in reflux esophagitis (P < 0.05, respectively). In conclusion, diffuse dilated intercellular spaces, intraepithelial eosinophil microabscess, pustule, T lymphocytes, eosinophils, and pSTAT3 positivity can be added to histopathological features of pill-induced esophagitis, other than non-specific ulcer. Besides, distal pill-induced esophagitis may be histopathologically differentiated from reflux esophagitis.