Increased Risk of Esophageal Eosinophilia and Eosinophilic Esophagitis in Patients With Active Celiac Disease on Biopsy

Elizabeth T. Jensen, Swathi Eluri, Benjamin Lebwohl, Robert M. Genta, Evan S. Dellon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: The possible association between eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and celiac disease is controversial because prior results have been contradictory. We aimed to determine the relationship between EoE and celiac disease among patients with concomitant esophageal and duodenal biopsies. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study in a U.S. national pathology database by using data from January 2009 through June 2012. Our primary case definition was defined by the presence of esophageal eosinophilia with ≥15 eosinophils per high-power field. The crude and adjusted (for age and sex) odds of esophageal eosinophilia for patients with active celiac disease were compared with those without celiac disease. Sensitivity analyses were performed by using more stringent case definitions and by estimating the associations between celiac disease and reflux esophagitis and celiac disease and Barrett's esophagus. Results: Of 292,621 patients in the source population, 88,517 with both esophageal and duodenal biopsies were studied. Four thousand one hundred one (4.6%) met criteria for EoE, and 1203 (1.4%) met criteria for celiac disease. Odds of EoE were 26% higher in patients with celiac disease than in patients without celiac disease (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.26; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.98-1.60). The magnitude of association varied according to EoE case definition, but all definitions showed a weak positive association between the 2 conditions. There was no association between celiac disease and reflux esophagitis (aOR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.85-1.07) or Barrett's esophagus (aOR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.69-1.14) and celiac disease. Conclusions: There is a weak increase in EoE in patients with celiac disease. This association strengthened with increasingly stringent definitions of EoE and was not observed for other esophageal conditions. In patients with celiac disease, concomitant EoE should be considered in the correct clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1426-1431
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Celiac disease
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis
  • Epidemiology
  • Pathology
  • Prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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