Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic inflammation of the esophagus that has been considered an allergic phenomenon based on its similarities to other allergic conditions. More specifically, EoE has been considered a form of food allergy because of patient sensitizations to foods and improvements in symptoms and inflammation after food eliminations. This article presents the currently available evidence regarding the classification of EoE as an allergic condition, the involvement of foods in disease pathogenesis, and the value of different types of allergy testing and elimination diets in management of EoE. Using the search engines PubMed and Ovid, English literature in the past 10 years was reviewed with the use of the following key words: eosinophilic esophagitis, EoE epidemiology, EoE pathophysiology, food allergy, eosinophils, skin-prick testing, atopy patch testing, elemental diet, test directed elimination diet, six food elimination diet. Studies of EoE epidemiology and pathophysiology support the link between EoE and allergy in general, and studies of food allergy testing and elimination diets have supported a link between EoE and food allergy. Although food elimination diets cause resolution of symptoms and pathology in pediatric EoE, the results of testing and diet elimination studies are not as clear in adults, and aeroallergen sensitizations may play a larger role in adult EoE pathophysiology. Although several studies in children and adults support considering EoE a form of food allergy, the usefulness of skin-prick testing and atopy patch testing for food allergies and the optimal elimination diet for disease management are still uncertain.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine