Retrospective Comparison of Fluticasone Propionate and Oral Viscous Budesonide in Children With Eosinophilic Esophagitis

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Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is treated with dietary modification and/or pharmacologic management with swallowed topical steroids. Swallowed fluticasone propionate (FP) and oral viscous budesonide (OVB) have proven to be effective in resolving symptoms and reversing histologic changes in children and adults with EoE. There are minimal comparative studies between the 2 agents.


The aim of the study was to retrospectively compare endoscopic and histologic outcomes after FP versus OVB therapy in children with EoE in our center.


We performed a retrospective chart review of subjects diagnosed with EoE at a tertiary care center between 2010 and 2015. Inclusion criteria were FP or OVB therapy for ≥8 weeks along with pre- and post-treatment endoscopic evaluation. Demographic and clinical features and endoscopic and histologic assessment were recorded for comparative analysis. Histologic response was defined as <15 eos/hpf and remission as <5 eos/hpf.


The study included 68 EoE patients (20 FP and 48 OVB) with a mean age of 10.6 ± 5.2 years (range 1–20 years); 81% were boys and 68% were Caucasian. No significant demographic or clinical differences were noted between the 2 study groups. Overall histologic response to topical steroids was seen in 44 of 68 (65%) patients. A significantly greater number of patients achieved histologic response with OVB (36/48, 75%) than with FP (8/20, 40%) (P = 0.0059). Mean pretreatment peak eos/hpf was 46 ± 19 in the FP group versus 45 ± 23 in the OVB group. Mean post-treatment peak eos/hpf was 20 ± 29 in the FP group versus 12 ± 16 in the OVB group (P = 0.002). There was also a significantly greater difference in the change of absolute eos/hpf from pre- to post-treatment in the OVB group (−33) versus FP (18) (P = 0.047). A greater number of OVB-treated patients without asthma had a histologic response compared to those with asthma (P = 0.031). The response to OVB was not affected by the delivery vehicle, namely sucralose (Splenda) versus Neocate Duocal.


Our data suggest that treatment with OVB leads to better endoscopic and histologic outcomes than FP. Adherence to treatment and history of asthma are major determining factors in the response to treatments. Using Neocate Duocal as the OVB delivery vehicle is just as effective as sucralose.

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