The CHOC Children’s Eosinophilic Esophagitis Clinic is one of only a handful of multidisciplinary clinics dedicated to treating all of the symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis (also known as EoE) in Southern California. Our team of allergists, gastroenterologists and dietitians work with patients and families to help diagnose and treat EoE.
When a child is first diagnosed with EoE, it is an overwhelming experience. We provide the expertise and support needed to manage the patient’s health and wellbeing. The clinic meets every first and third Wednesday of the month. During the initial stages of care, patients may need to attend clinic every one to three months depending on the severity of the child’s symptoms. The EoE team also provides support services outside of the clinic through e-mail and telephone calls. Once there is resolution of the EoE and the trigger is identified, we recommend yearly visits for follow-up. Learn more about Eosinophilic Esophagitis.
Currently, the only way to make a diagnosis of EoE is by an endoscopy with biopsies of the esophageal lining. During an endoscopy, a gastroenterologist inserts a small tube with a camera located at the tip into the mouth, down the esophagus, and into the stomach and first part of the small intestine. The doctor will look at the tissue lining of the gastrointestinal tract and take small pieces of tissue called biopsies. During the endoscopy, the gastroenterologist will also look for any changes in the appearance of the esophagus, including white blotches, long white lines (called linear furrows) or rings. After the biopsies have been taken, a pathologist will look at the small samples of tissue under the microscope and count the number of eosinophils (allergy cells) in a set area. Learn more about endoscopy at CHOC Children’s.
After a patient has been diagnosed with EoE, he or she will work with one of our allergists and undergo extensive allergy testing. The testing will assist the team in figuring out possible food and/or environmental causes of the child’s EoE symptoms. This testing includes a complete history and physical, skin prick testing (both completed on first visit to our clinic) and patch testing, which is completed on subsequent visits to CHOC.
The Latest, Individualized Treatments
Pinpointing what is causing a child’s EoE may be a challenging journey. It will take time to walk through each step of the work-up, treatment and trial periods. Every child is very important to us and we make every effort to always be available to help patients and their families through the process. Because each child is different, so are the treatment options. EoE may be treated through food avoidance of offending allergens, use of specialized formulas and/or through the use of medications.
First and foremost, our goals for every patient are:
- Symptom resolution
- Clear biopsy
- Prevention of future complications
- Maintaining quality of life