Rise in eosinophilic oesophagitis

CASES of eosinophilic oesopha­gitis (EO) are increasing in Australia, an expert says.

Associate Professor Katie Allen, from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne, said the condition was at least as common as Crohn’s disease.

“We see on average 30 new patients a year at the Royal Children’s Hospital [Melbourne],” she said.

One Swedish study showed the population incidence could be as high as one in 1000.

Professor Allen told the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy annual scientific meeting in Sydney last week that EO presented in young children as feeding refusal, vomiting and sometimes choking, and in older children as food impaction, difficulty eating hard foods and swallowing.

The condition, which needed to be diagnosed by endoscopy to differentiate it from gastro-oesophageal reflux, was often caused by food allergy.

“We think it is akin to being