BACKGROUND: Eosinophilic gastroenteritis (EG) can mimic symptoms of common gastrointestinal (GI) disorders but responds well to appropriate treatment. Accurate diagnosis is central to effective management. Data on EG in Southeast Asia is lacking. We aim to describe the clinical profiles and treatment outcomes of adult patients with EG in a Singapore Tertiary Hospital.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective study involved archival search of patients with GI biopsies that showed eosinophilic infiltration from January 2004 to December 2012. Patients' clinical data from computerised hospital records and clinical notes was reviewed. Diagnostic criteria for EG included presence of GI symptoms with more than 30 eosinophils/high power field on GI biopsies. Patients with secondary causes for eosinophilia were excluded.
RESULTS: Eighteen patients with EG were identified (mean age 52 years; male/female: 11/7). Fifteen patients (83%) had peripheral blood eosinophilia. Seven patients (39%) had atopic conditions. Most common symptoms were diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Small intestine was the most common site involved. Endoscopic finding was non-specific. Ten patients were treated with corticosteroids (nine prednisolone, one budesonide): eight patients (89%) responded clinically to prednisolone but four patients (50%) relapsed following tapering-off of prednisolone and required maintenance dose. One patient each responded to diet elimination and montelukast respectively. Half of the remaining six patients who were treated with proton-pump inhibitors, antispasmodic or antidiarrheal agents still remained symptomatic.
CONCLUSION: Prednisolone is an effective treatment though relapses are common. Small intestine is most commonly involved. EG should be considered in the evaluation of unexplained chronic recurrent GI symptoms.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.