Idiopathic eosinophilic esophagitis in adults: The ringed esophagus

Stefan L. Zimmerman, Marc S. Levine, Stephen E. Rubesin, Marcia C. Mitre, Emma E. Furth, Igor Laufer, David A. Katzka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To retrospectively assess the findings of idiopathic eosinophilic esophagitis (IEE) at barium studies and determine the frequency of the ringed esophagus in patients with this condition. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The institutional review board approved all aspects of this retrospective study and did not require informed consent from patients whose records were included in the study. The study was compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. A review of the pathology and radiology databases at the authors' institution revealed 14 patients (11 men and three women; mean age, 41.3 years) with IEE (defined as more than 20 eosinophils per high-power field in biopsy specimens) who had undergone barium studies and endoscopy. The radiographs were reviewed for strictures, esophagitis or other abnormalities. The endoscopic reports, clinical records, and laboratory data were also reviewed and compared with the radiographic findings. RESULTS: Seven of the 14 patients (50%) had a history of allergies, and two of nine patients with complete blood cell counts (22%) had peripheral eosinophilia. Thirteen patients (93%) had dysphagia, six (43%) had food impactions, and six (43%) had reflux symptoms. Ten patients (71%) had a total of 11 strictures at barium studies (two in the upper part of the esophagus, two in the middle part, three in the distal part, one in the middle and distal parts, and three at the gastroesophageal junction). The strictures had a mean length of 5.1 cm. In seven patients (50%), the strictures contained multiple fixed ringlike indentations that produced a ringed esophagus. The ringlike indentations appeared as multiple, fixed, closely spaced, concentric rings traversing the stricture. Four patients (28%) had esophagitis. Of 13 patients who underwent recumbent imaging, 10 (77%) had hiatal hernias and nine (69%) had reflux. Eight of the 10 patients (80%) with strictures underwent endoscopic dilation procedures, which resulted in only temporary relief of dysphagia. CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that most patients with IEE have esophageal strictures, often with distinctive ringlike indentations that produce a ringed esophagus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-165
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Idiopathic eosinophilic esophagitis in adults: The ringed esophagus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this