March 16, 2021
Eosinophilic esophagitis (also known as EoE) is a disease characterized by the presence of a large number of a special type of white blood cell, the eosinophil, that can cause inflammation in the esophagus. This inflammation can lead to stiffening or narrowing of the esophagus, which can lead to difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) or food getting stuck in the esophagus. Reflux of stomach acid contents into the esophagus can also cause eosinophils as well as inflammation in the esophagus. In EoE, the eosinophils are present even after acid reflux has been treated. Although eosinophils may be found in the rest of the gastrointestinal tract in a healthy person, when present in the esophagus, this usually suggests an abnormal condition. While other illnesses such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), parasitic diseases or inflammatory bowel disease may cause eosinophils in the esophagus, EoE is the most common cause of large numbers of eosinophils in the esophagus.