Lymphocytic esophagitis in children

Lisa M. Sutton, D. Dyer Heintz, Ashish S. Patel, Arthur G. Weinberg

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23 Scopus citations


Background: Lymphocytic esophagitis (LE) is a term recently suggested for the finding of > 20 intraepithelial lymphocytes/high-power field in an esophageal biopsy with no more than a rare granulocyte. Two prior studies of LE suggested an association of LE with Crohn's disease (CD) in young patients, but there has been no systematic review of a large pediatric cohort to determine the prevalence and clinical associations of LE in children. Methods: All esophageal biopsies performed at a tertiary care pediatric medical center in 2005 were identified (580 biopsies from 545 unique patients). A blinded histologic review was performed to identify LE cases (> 50 intraepithelial lymphocytes/high- power field; < 1 granulocyte/50 intraepithelial lymphocytes). Clinical characteristics, endoscopic findings, and follow-up data for each case were reviewed independently by a pediatric gastroenterologist. Results: Thirty-one patients with LE (5.7%) and 49 patients with CD (8.9%) were found among the 545 patients. Six of the 31 LE patients (19%) and 43 of the 514 non-LE patients (8.4%) had CD (P < 0.05). The remaining LE patients had various other clinical diagnoses with no significant clinical correlates. LE was identified in 6 of 49 patients with CD (12.2%) and 25 of 496 patients without CD (5.0%) (P < 0.05). Patients with both LE and CD had a more prominent lymphocytic infiltrate than LE patients without CD. Conclusions: LE seems to be more prevalent in children than in adults and has a significant association with CD in this age group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1324-1328
Number of pages5
JournalInflammatory bowel diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Crohn's disease
  • Esophagitis
  • Lymphocytes
  • Pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Gastroenterology

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    Sutton, L. M., Heintz, D. D., Patel, A. S., & Weinberg, A. G. (2014). Lymphocytic esophagitis in children. Inflammatory bowel diseases, 20(8), 1324-1328.