Lymphocytic esophagitis: An update on histologic diagnosis, endoscopic findings, and natural history

Deepa T. Patil, Suntrea T Hammer, Rupert Langer, Rhonda K. Yantiss

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Lymphocytic esophagitis is a histologic pattern of injury characterized by increased intraepithelial lymphocytes (>20/high-power field) with rare, or absent granulocytes. Lymphocytes tend to be more numerous in the peripapillary epithelium, and are often associated with evidence of mucosal injury, edema, and scattered dyskeratotic cells. More than a decade following its original description, lymphocytic esophagitis remains an enigmatic entity with variable clinical presentations, associated disorders, etiologies, treatment, and natural history. Most of the confusion regarding the clinical significance of this disorder stems from its diagnostic criteria: lymphocytic esophagitis is currently defined based entirely on histologic criteria, despite the common occurrence of lymphocytosis in a variety of unrelated inflammatory conditions of the esophagus. The goal of this review is to summarize the literature regarding lymphocytic esophagitis and focus on key clinicopathologic features that distinguish it from other esophageal disorders that can show increased numbers of intraepithelial lymphocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-191
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Criteria
  • Endoscopy
  • Esophagitis
  • Lymphocytic
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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