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Gastroenterology Practice Patterns Contribute to Missed Diagnoses of Eosinophilic Gastritis and Duodenitis

Open AccessPublished:November 24, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gastha.2022.11.010
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      ABSTRACT

      Background and Aims

      Eosinophilic gastritis and eosinophilic duodenitis (EoG/EoD) are often misdiagnosed as functional gastrointestinal disorders. Consequently, patients with gastrointestinal symptoms of EoG/EoD may not undergo the necessary steps for diagnosis. We studied gastroenterologists’ evaluations of patients with chronic, unexplained, moderate-to-severe gastrointestinal symptoms that were unresponsive to over-the-counter medications.

      Methods

      We performed a cross-sectional online survey of 202 board-certified gastroenterologists at office-based practices, community hospitals, or academic institutions. Respondents had been in active clinical practice for 3 to 35 years post-residency training, spent most of their time on direct patient care, managed ≥1 patient with irritable bowel syndrome and/or functional dyspepsia, and performed ≥1 endoscopy per month. Responses were analyzed to identify barriers to EoG/EoD diagnosis and management.

      Results

      Respondents managed a mean of 1880 patients per year; the most common diagnoses were functional dyspepsia (36%) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (19%). Mean proportions of patients who underwent upper endoscopy ranged from 42% to 84%. Biopsies were collected from >90% of patients with visible endoscopic mucosal abnormalities versus 42% to 72% of patients with normal-appearing mucosae. Approximately 20% of respondents collected only 1-2 biopsies from each site of the gastrointestinal tract. Only 30% routinely requested pathologists to count eosinophils, and nearly 40% had no histologic threshold for EoG/EoD diagnosis.

      Conclusion

      Gastroenterologists vary in their evaluation of patients with chronic, unexplained moderate-to-severe gastrointestinal symptoms. Limited gastric and duodenal biopsy collection, particularly from normal-appearing mucosae, and failure to request tissue eosinophil counts might contribute to underdiagnosis of EoG/EoD. Availability and awareness of EoG/EoD diagnostic guidelines should improve detection in clinical practice.

      Keywords