Reliability of histologic assessment in patients with eosinophilic oesophagitis

M. J. Warners, C. A. Ambarus, A. J. Bredenoord, J. Verheij, G. Y. Lauwers, J. C. Walsh, D. A. Katzka, S. Nelson, T. van Viegen, G. T. Furuta, S. K. Gupta, L. Stitt, G. Zou, C. E. Parker, L. M. Shackelton, G. R. D'Haens, W. J. Sandborn, E. S. Dellon, B. G. Feagan, M. H. CollinsV. Jairath, R. K. Pai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: The validity of the eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE) histologic scoring system (EoEHSS) has been demonstrated, but only preliminary reliability data exist. Aim: Formally assess the reliability of the EoEHSS and additional histologic features. Methods: Four expert gastrointestinal pathologists independently reviewed slides from adult patients with EoE (N = 45) twice, in random order, using standardised training materials and scoring conventions for the EoEHSS and additional histologic features agreed upon during a modified Delphi process. Intra- and inter-rater reliability for scoring the EoEHSS, a visual analogue scale (VAS) of overall histopathologic disease severity, and additional histologic features were assessed using intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs). Results: Almost perfect intra-rater reliability was observed for the composite EoEHSS scores and the VAS. Inter-rater reliability was also almost perfect for the composite EoEHSS scores and substantial for the VAS. Of the EoEHSS items, eosinophilic inflammation was associated with the highest ICC estimates and consistent with almost perfect intra- and inter-rater reliability. With the exception of dyskeratotic epithelial cells and surface epithelial alteration, ICC estimates for the remaining EoEHSS items were above the benchmarks for substantial intra-rater, and moderate inter-rater reliability. Estimation of peak eosinophil count and number of lamina propria eosinophils were associated with the highest ICC estimates among the exploratory items. Conclusion: The composite EoEHSS and most component items are associated with substantial reliability when assessed by central pathologists. Future studies should assess responsiveness of the score to change after a therapeutic intervention to facilitate its use in clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)940-950
Number of pages11
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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