Eosinophilic Gastritis in Children: Clinicopathological Correlation, Disease Course, and Response to Therapy

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OBJECTIVES:Eosinophilic gastritis (EG), defined by histological criteria as marked eosinophilia in the stomach, is rare, and large studies in children are lacking. We sought to describe the clinical, endoscopic, and histopathological features of EG, assess for any concurrent eosinophilia at other sites of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and evaluate response to dietary and pharmacological therapies.METHODS:Pathology files at our medical center were searched for histological eosinophilic gastritis (HEG) with ≥70 gastric eosinophils per high-power field in children from 2005 to 2011. Pathology slides were evaluated for concurrent eosinophilia in the esophagus, duodenum, and colon. Medical records were reviewed for demographic characteristics, symptoms, endoscopic findings, comorbidities, and response to therapy.RESULTS:Thirty children with severe gastric eosinophilia were identified, median age 7.5 years, 14 of whom had both eosinophilia limited to the stomach and clinical symptoms, fulfilling the clinicopathological definition of EG. Symptoms and endoscopic features were highly variable. History of atopy and food allergies was common. A total of 22% had protein-losing enteropathy (PLE). Gastric eosinophilia was limited to the fundus in two patients. Many patients had associated eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE, 43%) and 21% had eosinophilic enteritis. Response to dietary restriction therapy was high (82% clinical response and 78% histological response). Six out of sixteen patients had persistent EoE despite resolution of their gastric eosinophilia; two children with persistent HEG post therapy developedde novoconcurrent EoE.CONCLUSIONS:HEG in children can be present in the antrum and/or fundus. Symptoms and endoscopic findings vary, highlighting the importance of biopsies for diagnosis. HEG is associated with PLE, and with eosinophilia elsewhere in the GI tract including the esophagus. The disease is highly responsive to dietary restriction therapies in children, implicating an allergic etiology. Associated EoE is more resistant to therapy.

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