Pediatric Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)

Pediatric Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)

Pediatric Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)

Eosinophilic esophagitis is a rare disorder that involves elevated levels of eosinophils (a type of white blood cell that fights allergens) in the esophagus causing inflammation that leads to problems with eating and drinking.

What is Pediatric Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) ?

In a child with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), eosinophils (a type of white blood cell that fights allergens) unusually accumulate in the lining of the esophagus (tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). This collection of eosinophils can react to foods, allergens or acid reflux, and it can lead to inflammation or injury of the tissue of the esophagus. Inflamed (swollen) esophageal tissue can cause problems when a child tries to swallow or eat food.

EoE is a type of eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorder (EGID) that is closely related to eosinophilic gastritis (EG), eosinophilic gastroenteritis (EGE) or eosinophilic colitis (EC).

EoE affects males more than females. Like other EGIDs, EoE might be associated with other atopic conditions such as food allergies, asthma and atopic dermatitis.

What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) ?

What are the causes of Pediatric Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) ?

Foods most often trigger EoE inflammation. Sometimes swallowed pollens might also trigger EoE inflammation. However, why an individual reacts to certain foods or pollens to trigger EoE inflammation is unknown.

How is Pediatric Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) treated?

Treating EoE with a comprehensive plan

  • The UT Southwestern pediatric specialists at Children’s Health are experts in diagnosing and treating digestive and nutrition issues in children. We tailor our approach using child-friendly language, equipment and amenities to help the children feel comfortable and at ease. 
  • When we see your child for an initial visit, you can expect us to thoroughly review medical records, including surgeries or endoscopies, blood work and previous allergy testing.
  • Next steps may involve additional blood tests, endoscopy, allergy testing and imaging. We will engage our entire team in developing a treatment plan. A food elimination diet is a common course of action, and we may introduce steroids and/or medications used to target GI inflammation.

Pediatric Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) Doctors and Providers

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should my child see a specialist?

    Talk with your pediatrician about the symptoms of EoE. He or she will tell you that in young children, EoE may cause chronic vomiting and poor growth. Older children may describe difficulty swallowing. Symptoms may include a combination of the following:

    • Refusing to eat, breast feed or take a bottle
    • Choking and gagging on certain foods
    • Food getting stuck in the esophagus
    • Vomiting
    • Stomach pain
    • Reflux symptoms that do not respond to anti-reflux medication

    If you think your child may have EoE or an eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorder (EGID), our team, collaborating with your primary care provider, can provide answers and a plan.