Eosinophilic Esophagitis: the Limits of “Clinical Remission”

Among patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), two issues are particularly vexing for families:

  • The recommendation to use endoscopy to assess response to treatment.
  • Using proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy as first line treatment when other therapies have higher response rates

To some extent, these issues are intertwined because PPI therapy works in less than half of patients and to determine this conclusively, an endoscopy is needed.  Clearly, a reliable noninvasive biomarker would be quite helpful.

In the meantime, another study (CE Kuehni et al. Gastroenterol 2016; 150: 581-90, editorial 547-48) has shown that “clinical remission” has modest accuracy in detecting endoscopic and histologic remission in EoE.

This prospective observational study, performed between 2011-14, recruited 269 consecutive adults in Switzerland and U.S.. 67% male median age 39 years.

Key finding:

Of 111 who were in clinical remission (41.3%), only 79 (72%) and 75 (68%) were in endoscopic and histologic (<20 eos/mm2 which corresponds to <5 eos/median hpf) remission respectively.

My take (borrowed): “Physicians cannot rely on lack of symptoms to make assumptions about lack of biologic disease activity in adult EoE patients.”

Related blog posts:

Gibbs Gardens

Gibbs Gardens

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