Fluoroscopic findings in pediatric eosinophilic esophagitis
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- Diniz, L.O., Putnum, P.E. & Towbin, A.J. Pediatr Radiol (2012) 42: 721. doi:10.1007/s00247-011-2329-3
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Eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) is an inflammatory disorder of the esophagus characterized by symptoms such as dysphagia, food sticking and heartburn. Several fluoroscopic findings have been described in EE, but the frequency of these findings is unknown.
To identify the frequency of imaging findings in pediatric-age patients with eosinophilic esophagitis.
Materials and methods
A retrospective study was performed evaluating all upper GI and esophagram studies performed between 2000 and 2008 in patients up to age 21 with a pathological diagnosis of EE. In order to be included in the study, the upper GI or esophagram had to be performed either before EE was diagnosed or within 30 days of the diagnosis. Two pediatric radiologists evaluated each study for the presence or absence of multiple findings of EE. The radiology reports from the time of the study were then read to establish a concurrent diagnosis of esophageal dysmotility or gastroesophageal reflux. Finally, the hospital electronic medical record was evaluated to obtain demographic and pathology information.
Of the 579 patients with biopsy-proven EE, 107 (18%) were included in the study and underwent a total of 112 upper GI or esophagram examinations. The most common finding on these examinations was a normal esophagus (58/112; 52%) followed by gastroesophageal reflux (21/112; 19%) and irregular contractions (17/112; 15%). Less frequent findings included strictures, dysmotility, mucosal irregularity, esophageal rings and filling defects.
Fluoroscopic studies are not a sensitive method to diagnose EE because nearly half of the studies are normal. Findings that have been described in the setting of EE such as food impaction, a ringed esophagus, a small-caliber esophagus and esophageal stricture do not occur with a high enough frequency to reliably make a diagnosis.