Characterization of a group of children with eosinophilic esophagitis in Cali, Colombia

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Laura Del Mar Vásquez
Carlos Daniel Serrano
Margarita Peña
Veronica Botero
Diana Quimbayo
Rafael Milanés
Laura Torres-Canchala
Manuela Olaya


Child, Eosinophilic Esophagitis, Gastrointestinal Disease, Histologic Techniques, Hospitalized, Immunoglobulin, Inv Allotype


Purpose: Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an immunologically mediated chronic disease of the gastrointestinal tract. The objective of this study was to clinically and demographically describe a child population with EoE diagnosed in a high-complexity hospital in Cali, Colombia.

Methods: A retrospective study was carried out. The clinical histories of patients between 0 and 18 years with clinical suspicion and a histological diagnosis of EoE were analyzed. All patients underwent an allergy study, either by measurement of specific immunoglobulin (Ig) E and/or an intraepidermal skin-prick test.

Results: Thirty-five patients were included in the study, of which 21 (60%) women. The median age was 8 years (interquartile range [IQR] 5–12), and the age of onset of symptoms was 5 years (IQR 2–10). Thirty patients (85.7%) reported a history of allergic disease, with rhinitis being the most frequent (n = 25, 71.4%). Only one patient reported with food allergy mediated by IgE. The main symptoms in patients included abdominal pain (17 [48.6%]), refractory gastroesophageal reflux (16 [45.7%]), and choking (9 [25.7%]). Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy was normal in 10 patients (38.5%). The median number of eosinophils in the biopsy was 42 (IQR 31–92). Allergenic sensitization was verified in 25 of 35 patients (71.4%). Of these, dust mite allergy was positive in 21 patients (84%), while the most frequent food allergy was toward cow’s milk, in five patients (31.3%).

Conclusions: The majority of patients with EoE were females. The most frequent symptom was abdominal pain. Endoscopic abnormalities were also observed frequently, and the prevalence of other allergic diseases (especially rhinitis) and allergenic sensitization (especially to mites) was high.

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