Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EE)

What is eosinophilic esophagitis?

Eosinophilic esophagitis is an allergic reaction resulting from the buildup of a type of white blood cell (eosinophil) that causes inflammation and damage to the muscular tube that connects mouth to stomach (esophagus). Not all allergic reactions are immediately noticeable. Most people have heard of allergies that require emergency treatment, but many allergic reactions come on slowly, with subtle symptoms. Eosinophilic esophagitis is one of these reactions.

Eosinophilic esophagitis may affect your child’s ability to eat — both physically (a swollen esophagus makes it hard for food to go down) and psychologically (a child may grow to associate eating with discomfort). It’s usually caused by a food allergy.

A child can get diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis at any age — even into adolescence and beyond. It’s estimated that the condition affects about 1 in 10,000 children, however males are more likely to be affected than females.

Eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic condition that requires lifelong management, but it is not life-threa

How we care for eosinophilic esophagitis

The Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disease (EGID) Program at Boston Children's Hospital is dedicated to caring for children and adolescents with eosinophilic esophagitis and other eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases (EGIDs). We’re the only program in the Northeast that cares for children with these conditions and we’re the medical liaison for the local support group, EGID Boston. EGID Boston meetings are held at Boston Children’s at Waltham.

Our program provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment for infants, children and adolescents with suspected or diagnosed EGIDs, including:

  • eosinophilic esophagitis
  • eosinophilic gastritis
  • eosinophilic gastroenteritis

The program is staffed by an experienced team of clinicians, all with specialized training in the care of children with these complex chronic conditions. Our staff includes:

  • gastroenterologists
  • allergists
  • registered dieticians
  • clinical social workers
  • nurse practitioners