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

Mirna Chehade, Jingwen Tan, Lauren T. Gehman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and Aims: Eosinophilic gastritis and eosinophilic duodenitis (EoG/EoD) are often misdiagnosed as functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. Consequently, patients with GI symptoms of EoG/EoD may not undergo the necessary steps for diagnosis. We studied gastroenterologists’ evaluations of patients with chronic, unexplained, moderate-to-severe GI 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 3–35 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 vs 42%–72% of patients with normal-appearing mucosae. Approximately 20% of respondents collected only 1–2 biopsies from each site of the GI 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 GI 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-342
Number of pages9
JournalGastro Hep Advances
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Eosinophil
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Misdiagnosed
  • Pathology
  • Symptoms

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