Gastroenterology clinic

Eosinophilic oesophagitis: no longer a rare cause of dysphagia

Sara Haj Ali, Nam Q Nguyen



Eosinophilic oesophagitis has transformed from a rarely seen, case reportable diagnosis to an important cause of dysphagia and food bolus impaction in adults.

Key Points

  • Eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE) is a chronic immune-mediated disease characterised clinically by symptoms related to oesophageal dysfunction and histologically by eosinophil-predominant inflammation.
  • EoE affects both children and adults and is more common in men than in women. In adults, the median age of onset is between 30 and 40 years.
  • The incidence of EoE appears to be increasing, which may be related to increased recognition. It is found in 50% of patients presenting with food impaction and 6 to 15% of patients undergoing an endoscopy for dysphagia. A recent Australian study found that the increase in prevalence of food bolus obstruction over the past 15 years was associated with an increase in the diagnosis of EoE.

    Picture credit: © EyeQ/Dollar Photo Club.