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Eosinophilic Esophagitis: An Evidence-Based Approach to Therapy


González-Cervera J1, Lucendo AJ2

1Department of Allergy, Hospital General de Tomelloso, Tomelloso, Ciudad Real, Spain
2Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital General de Tomelloso, Tomelloso, Ciudad Real, Spain

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2016; Vol. 26(1): 8-18
doi: 10.18176/jiaci.0002



In recent years, several randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses have evaluated the efficacy of the various therapeutic options available for treating patients with eosinophilic esophagitis, including dietary modifications, proton pump inhibitors, topical corticosteroids, and endoscopic esophageal dilation. Proton pump inhibitors are currently considered the first-line treatment for eosinophilic esophagitis, achieving histological remission and improvement of symptoms in 50.5% and 60.8% of patients, respectively.
The efficacy of topical corticosteroids in eosinophilic esophagitis has been assessed in several trials. Meta-analyses summarizing results indicate that budesonide and fluticasone propionate are significantly superior to placebo, both in decreasing eosinophil densities in the esophageal mucosa and in relieving symptoms. However, owing to differences in drug delivery, viscous budesonide seems to be the best pharmacological therapy for eosinophilic esophagitis.
Results for dietary modifications have been mixed depending on the type of diet prescribed. Thus, while exclusive amino acid–based elemental diets are the most effective in inducing histological remission of eosinophilic esophagitis (90.8%), their severe drawbacks limit their implementation in clinical practice. Allergy testing–based food elimination provides a suboptimal remission rate of 45.5%, although this is lower in adults than in children (32.2% vs 47.9%, respectively). In addition, the various available studies are highly heterogeneous. Empirical 6-food elimination diets were shown to be the best diet-based therapy, with a homogeneous remission rate of 72%. Simpler, more convenient empirical schemes have also been evaluated.
The aim of this review is to provide an evidence-based overview on the efficacy of the options available for treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis along with a practical management algorithm.

Key words: Eosinophilic esophagitis. Diet therapy. Drug therapy. Dilation. Budesonide. Disease management.