A real-world characterization of a cohort with eosinophilic esophagitis: looking for severity biomarkers

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Authors Information

1Department of Immunoallergology, Hospital de Santa Maria, Centro Hospitalar Universitário Lisboa Norte EPE, Lisbon, Portugal
2University Clinic of Immunoallergology, Medicine Faculty of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal 
*The authors contributed equally to this work 


Published: 28 March 2023
Accepted: 27 March 2023
Received: 19 December 202 


Background. Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an immune-mediated chronic esophageal disease, with frequent association with atopy. A validated non/minimally invasive biomarker of disease severity has not been identified. We aimed to determine if sensitization to airborne and food allergens correlates with disease severity, and to evaluate the association between clinical and laboratory characteristics with the severity of EoE. Methods. Retrospective study of EoE patients observed in a differentiated center, 2009-2021. The association between patients’ diagnosis age, disease duration before diagnosis, sensitization to airborne/food allergens, serum total IgE and peripheral blood eosinophil values and severe clinical disease (presence of symptoms with a significant impact on quality of life and/or ≥ 1 hospital admission due to EoE complications, namely severe dysphagia, food impaction or esophageal perforation) and histological severe disease (≥ 55 eos/hpf and/or microabscesses in esophageal biopsies) was evaluated. Results. 92 patients were observed, 83% male, 87% atopic. There was a mean delay in diagnosis of 4 years (range 0-31). 84% had aeroallergen sensitization and 71% food sensitization. Food impaction and dysphagia were the most frequent symptoms, and severe clinical disease was observed in 55%. Histologically, 37% had severity criteria. Patients with severe clinical disease had a significantly longer mean disease duration before diagnosis than patients without severe clinical disease (79 vs 15 months, p = 0.021). Patients who described food impaction were significantly older at time of diagnosis than those who have never had impaction (18 vs 9 years, p < 0.001).There was no significant association (p < 0.05) between sensitization, serum total IgE and peripheral blood eosinophil values and clinical or histological severity. Conclusions. An older age at diagnosis and a longer disease duration before diagnosis appear to be useful for predicting EoE clinical severity. Despite having been demonstrated a high prevalence of allergic disease, the presence of sensitization to airborne and/or food allergens do not seem to be useful for predicting clinical or histological severity. 

Atopy; eosinophilic esophagitis; food allergy; sensitization; severity biomarkers. 

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