Until recently, endoscopy could only visually assess the amount of scar tissue in the oesophagus, making it difficult to spot the early alterations and take action before the damage gets worse.
Eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic immune system disease in which a type of white blood cell (eosinophil) builds up in the lining of the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach (esophagus). An innovative study from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago established the threshold for a new measure of early scarring in children with Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE).
It permits quick intervention during endoscopy to stop additional damage and prevent food from getting lodged in the oesophagus (feeding tube) of children with this ailment. Findings were supported by the Campaign Urging Research for Eosinophilic Diseases (CURED) Foundation and published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
The frequency of EoE, a chronic immune-mediated esophageal illness that affects both adults and children, ranges from 0.5 to 1 per 1000. If left untreated, it stimulates esophageal scarring, the growth of esophageal rings, and stricture, which obstructs the passage of solid food and may result in impaction when food is stuck in the oesophagus and cannot dislodge.
The “distensibility index,” a functional indicator of how much effort is necessary to stretch open the oesophagus, was measured in the study using the endoscopic functional luminal impedance probe (EndoFLIP).
“This is a game changer in how we care for kids with EoE,” said senior author Joshua Wechsler, MD, MSCI, Medical Director of Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Diseases Program at Lurie Children’s, CURED Research Scholar at Lurie Children’s, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Now, if distensibility is low, we can dilate the esophagus during the same procedure, and because we can pinpoint exactly where the scarring is, our intervention is more targeted and takes much less time. We are seeing improvements in symptoms, which is incredibly exciting.”
Research at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is conducted through Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute.
Through the tenacious pursuit of knowledge, the Manne Research Institute is dedicated to enhancing child health, revolutionising paediatric care, and assuring healthier futures.
According to U.S. News & World Report, Lurie Children’s is among the best children’s hospitals in the country. It serves as the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University‘s paediatric training ground.