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DOI: 10.4253/wjge.v15.i5.407; PMCID: PMC10236975


BACKGROUND: Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an eosinophilic-predominant inflammation of the esophagus diagnosed by upper endoscopy and biopsies. A non-invasive and cost-effective alternative for management of EoE is being researched. Previous studies assessing utility of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) in EoE were low powered. None investigated the contribution of eosinophilic inflammation of the stomach and duodenum to FeNO.

AIM: To assess the utility of FeNO as a non-invasive biomarker of esophageal eosinophilic inflammation for monitoring disease activity.

METHODS: Patients aged 6-21 years undergoing scheduled upper endoscopy with biopsy for suspected EoE were recruited in our observational study. Patients on steroids and with persistent asthma requiring daily controller medication were excluded. FeNO measurements were obtained in duplicate using a chemiluminescence nitric oxide analyzer (NIOX MINO, Aerocrine, Inc.; Stockholm, Sweden) prior to endoscopy. Based on the esophageal peak eosinophil count (PEC)/high power field on biopsy, patients were classified as EoE (PEC ≥ 15) or control (PEC ≤ 14). Mean FeNO levels were correlated with presence or absence of EoE, eosinophil counts on esophageal biopsy, and abnormal downstream eosinophilia in the stomach (PEC ≥ 10) and duodenum (PEC ≥ 20). Wilcoxon rank-sum test, Spearman correlation, and logistic regression were used for analysis.

RESULTS: We recruited a total of 134 patients, of which 45 were diagnosed with EoE by histopathology. The median interquartile range FeNO level was 17 parts per billion (11-37, range: 7-81) in the EoE group and 12 parts per billion (8-19, range: 5-71) in the control group. After adjusting for atopic diseases, EoE patients had significantly higher FeNO levels as compared to patients without EoE (Z = 3.33, P < 0.001). A weak yet statistically significant positive association was found between the number of esophageal eosinophils and FeNO levels (r = 0.30, P < 0.005). On subgroup analysis within the EoE cohort, higher FeNO levels were noted in patients with abnormal gastric (n = 23, 18 vs 15) and duodenal eosinophilia (n = 28, 21 vs 14); however, the difference was not statistically significant.

CONCLUSION: After ruling out atopy as possible confounder, we found significantly higher FeNO levels in the EoE cohort than in the control group.

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World J Gastrointest Endosc





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Eosinophilic esophagitis; Esophagus; Fractional exhaled nitric oxide; Gastroenterology; Nitric oxide; Pediatric


This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: Kaur P, Chevalier R, Friesen C, Ryan J, Sherman A, Page S. Diagnostic role of fractional exhaled nitric oxide in pediatric eosinophilic esophagitis, relationship with gastric and duodenal eosinophils. World J Gastrointest Endosc 2023; 15(5): 407-419 [PMID: 37274554 DOI: 10.4253/wjge.v15.i5.407]