Esophageal Diameter Is Decreased in Some Patients With Eosinophilic Esophagitis and Might Increase With Topical Corticosteroid Therapy

Joohee Lee, James Huprich, Christine Kujath, Karthik Ravi, Felicity Enders, Thomas C. Smyrk, David A. Katzka, Nicholas J. Talley, Jeffrey A. Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: The rapid response to topical corticosteroids makes it hard to implicate fibrosis as the cause of dysphagia in patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). We examined surrogates of esophageal expansion using minimal and maximal esophageal diameter (EDmin and EDmax) in barium swallow examinations. Methods: Eleven patients evaluated at Mayo Clinic, Rochester (8 female, median age 40, median diagnosis 36 months, median symptom duration 132 months) underwent barium esophagrams to determine EDmin and EDmax before and after 6 weeks of topical corticosteroid therapy. We assessed parameter reproducibility (in healthy volunteers), baseline EDmin and EDmax, postcorticosteroid changes in EoE patients, and correlation with clinical response. Results: EDmin and EDmax were reproducible, with nonsignificant variance in the 2 esophagrams in control subjects (P = .44 and . P = .66, respectively). Baseline EDmax was reduced in EoE at 19 mm (range, 13-26 mm) vs 24 mm (range, 19-29 mm) in controls (P = .004). About 50% of the EoE patients had EDmax and min values within the 10th to 90th percentile of controls (45% and 55%, respectively). Clinical improvement by Mayo Dsyphagia Questionnaire did not correlate with postcorticosteroid luminal change (P = .19 for EDmax; . P = .75 for EDmin). Median increases in postcorticosteroid EDmax and EDmin were not statistically significant (P = .15 and .1, respectively). However, they were significant in patients with abnormal baseline EDmax (n = 6; 2 mm; . P = .01) and EDmin (n = 5; 3 mm; . P = .02). Conclusions: Esophageal diameter is a reproducible parameter that is frequently decreased in EoE, but normal in approximately 50% of patients. Those with narrowing might respond to steroids, but it is unclear if narrowing causes dysphagia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-486
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Dysphagia
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis
  • Esophageal Distensibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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