Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a clinicopathologic disorder characterized histologically by esophageal eosinophilia. Oral viscous budesonide (OVB) is an effective treatment with remission rates reported between 55% and 87%; however, topical corticosteroids are associated with increased risk of candidal esophagitis and adrenal suppression. Attempts to decrease the daily dose of topical steroids have resulted in disease relapse. The objective of this study was to determine whether or not reducing the frequency of OVB administration would be effective in controlling esophageal eosinophilia in children and adolescents.Methods:
Data were obtained by retrospective chart review of patients at Boston Children's Hospital diagnosed with EoE, based on endoscopic findings of >15 eosinophils per high power field (eos/HPF) on esophageal biopsies while on acid blockade. Patients with histologic evidence of response (<15 eos/HPF) while on daily OVB had been offered the option of maintenance therapy based on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday (MWF) dosing regimen. Changes in peak esophageal eosinophil counts over time were examined.Results:
Eight male patients ages 5 to 18 years attained clinical response while receiving daily OVB and were subsequently maintained on a MWF OVB dosing regimen for 3 to 7 months. All 8 patients showed an increase in peak esophageal eosinophils, with 7 of 8 (88%) experiencing disease relapse. In fact, the distribution of peak esophageal eosinophils after MWF dosing was not statistically different from peak levels at diagnosis (P = 0.95).Conclusions:
An MWF dosing regimen of OVB was not effective at maintaining histologic response in children and adolescents with EoE. Larger prospective studies are warranted to confirm these results.