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About EoE

Female doctor bent down talking to her little eoe  patient

What is EoE?

Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) is an inflammatory disease of the esophagus (the tube that connects the throat and the stomach). The esophagus is made of muscles that contract to move food to the stomach. The esophagus usually does not have any eosinophils (a type of white blood cell that is present when there is an infection or inflammation). Eosinophilic esophagitis is diagnosed when high levels of eosinophils are found in the esophagus. This is thought to be caused by a response to food allergens. EoE causes a variety of symptoms including difficulty swallowing, food getting stuck in the throat, chest pain, stomach pain, and regurgitation of food or vomiting.

Portrait of Teenager smiling at camera

Diagnosing EoE

When someone has symptoms suggestive of EOE, a doctor will typically perform an upper endoscopy (a procedure that allows the doctor to examine the esophagus and take biopsies by inserting a flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end into the mouth and through the esophagus). The doctor will look for signs of inflammation and swelling (horizontal rings, vertical furrows, white spots, and narrowing). A pathologist will inspect the biopsies to determine if eosinophils are present in the esophageal tissue.

dr james franciosi performing a tne procedure on a young girl patient

TNE Service

TNE is a new procedure offered to children 10 and older. It allows children with eosinophilic esophagitis and other diseases to have endoscopies without anesthesia. This means it is much faster, less expensive, and safer. Nemours Children’s Hospital is the only pediatric hospital in the Southeast to offer the procedure.

Learn more about the TNE Service at Nemours.

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Treating EoE

EoE is a chronic disease that requires long term treatment. Options include dietary elimination (e.g. dairy) and medications such as swallowed steroids and proton pump inhibitors. If you have severe narrowing, your doctor might recommend dilation (stretching) the part of the esophagus that is narrow) to make swallowing easier. Your doctor might recommend another endoscopy if your symptoms return or get worse.