Idiopathic eosinophilic oesophagitis

Idiopathic eosinophilic oesophagitis is an inflammatory disease of the oesophagus characterised by eosinophilia that can involve all the layers of the oesophagus. 

It is most commonly seen in males aged 20-40. It is an uncommon disease; however not rare. 

Patients typically present with dysphagia or with food stuck in the oesophagus. Usually a specific food or allergen triggers the presentation, and symptoms may persist for a long time afterwards. 

The exact aetiology is unknown. Exposure to a food or allergen triggers the activation of eosinophils within the oesophageal wall and a consequent inflammatory cascade ensues.

Oesophageal strictures, webs and spasm cause the presentation of food impaction.

  • 'ringed' oesophagus: concentric, ring-like strictures of the oesophagus on a barium swallow
  • these ring-like strictures may co-exist with longer strictures, and may be associated with oesophageal spasm, dysmotility and foreshortening
  • non-specific oesophageal submucosal oedema

It is self-limiting in some cases, but responds well to oral glucocorticoid therapy. It may lead to retardation of growth in some children.

Share article

Article information

rID: 47296
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Eosinophilic oesophagitis

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Drag
    Figure 1: illustration
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.
    Loadinganimation

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.