Elemental diet decreases inflammation and improves symptoms in adult eosinophilic oesophagitis patients

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Abstract

Background

Eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE) is a chronic disease, driven by food allergens. Elemental diets are effective for the management of children with EoE, but studies on the effect of elemental diets in adults are scarce and poor palatability challenges dietary adherence.

Aim

To assess the effects of an elemental diet (Neocate, Nutricia, Utrecht, the Netherlands) on the inflammation, symptoms and endoscopic signs in adult EoE patients.

Methods

In this prospective study, 21 patients with active EoE, confirmed by biopsies showing ≥15 eosinophils per microscopic high power field (HPF) and symptoms of oesophageal dysfunction were included. Patients underwent endoscopy before and 4 weeks after diet. Histological disease activity (peak eosinophil count/HPF), and endoscopic signs were scored by physicians. Symptoms and adherence to the diet were evaluated by questionnaires. Serum total IgE levels and total eosinophil counts were determined and the expression of inflammatory cytokines was analysed by qPCR.

Results

In total, 17 (81%) of the patients completed the diet, of whom 12 (71%) showed complete histological response (≤ 15 eosinophils/HPF) and 4 (24%) showed partial histological response (≥50% reduction of baseline eosinophil count). Peak eosinophil counts decreased significantly after the diet from 40 to 9 per HPF (P ≤ 0.001). A marked improvement in endoscopic signs was observed. Symptoms decreased significantly in all subjects, and 15 patients (88%) became completely asymptomatic (P ≤ 0.001). In 14 patients (82%), blood eosinophil count and serum IgE decreased (P ≤ 0.05).

Conclusion

Elemental diet reduces eosinophilic inflammation and induces clinical remission in adult patients with eosinophilic oesophagitis.

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