Impedance and Histologic Characteristics of the Sub-laryngeal Esophagus Distinguish Eosinophilic Esophagitis From Other Esophageal Disorders.

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The region of the esophagus 15-17 cm below the incisors, called the sub-upper esophageal sphincter (sub-UES), has not been characterized in adults with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) but appears different during endoscopy. We investigated how the sub-UES differs from the remaining esophagus in patients with EoE and aimed to determine whether these differences be used to distinguish patients with EoE from those with lichen planus.We performed a prospective study of 14 patients with EoE, 7 patients with lichen planus (based on presence of Civatte bodies, dysphagia, and/or narrow esophagus with thin esophageal mucosa without signs of EoE), and 20 patients undergoing upper endoscopy for upper gastrointestinal or with dysphagia but without features of EoE (controls) at a single medical center from 2015 through 2018. Biopsies from the distal, middle, and sub-UES regions of the esophagus were analyzed by histology, quantitative PCR, and immunohistochemistry. We measured mucosal impedance (MI) in all subjects at the sub-UES and 2 cm, 5 cm, and 10 cm from the gastro-esophageal junction.Patients with EoE had significantly fewer eosinophils (median, 2 eosinophils/high-powered field [HPF]; range, 0-8 eosinophils/HPF) in sub-UES tissues compared with distal esophagus (median, 50 eosinophils/HPF; range, 22.5-60.8 eosinophils/HPF; P<.0001) or middle esophagus (median, 32 eosinophils/HPF; range, 19.3-60; P<.0001). Sub-UES tissues from patients with EoE had significantly less basal cell hyperplasia (P<.01), papillary elongation (P<.01), and dilated intercellular spaces (P<.01) than middle or and distal esophagus. MI in the sub-UES did not differ significantly between patients with EoE vs controls (P=.24), but was significantly lower in patients with lichen planus (median, 1344 ohms; range, 1046-1488) than patients with EoE (median, 2880 ohms; range, 2149-4858) (P<.001). mRNA and protein expression patterns did not differ significantly in the sub-UES of patients with EoE vs controls, except for expression of desmoglein-1, which was increased in sub-UES tissues from patients with EoE.Sub-UES tissues from patients with EoE differ in numbers of eosinophils, histologic features, and MI compared to controls or patients with lichen planus. These features might help to distinguish these 2 diseases. Click here to read full article on original source website