Background: Eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE) is a chronic, inflammatory condition of the oesophagus, characterised by intermittent dysphagia, food bolus obstruction (FBO) and histologically proven, eosinophil-mediated inflammation. EoE is identified in up to 50% of FBO presentations.
Objective: To evaluate the management of patients presenting with FBO to our centre against current clinical guidelines.
Design: A retrospective analysis of acute FBO was performed between January 2008 and August 2014. Patients were identified using the ICD 10 code T18.1, 'foreign body in oesophagus' in their electronic discharge document. Data were collected on admitting specialty, previous FBO, endoscopy findings, biopsy sites and findings, eosinophil count and diagnosis of EoE.
Results: 310 acute episodes of FBO were included in the final study cohort. 202 (65.2%) flexible oesophagogastroduodenoscopies (OGDs) were performed, with 50 (34.5%) of those occurring in those admitted under ENT (n=145), versus 28 (93.3%) and 124 (91.9%) in general medicine (n=30) and surgery (n=135), respectively. 80 (39.6%) had oesophageal biopsies taken, and 21 novel diagnoses of EoE were made (26.3% biopsy-proven rate). Five (23.8%) of the novel diagnoses had a formal eosinophil count included in the histopathology report, and eight (38.1%) had up to three previous OGDs that had not diagnosed their condition of EoE.
Conclusion: Our study highlights wide variation in adherence to the guidelines for the management of FBO depending on admitting specialty. We advocate an FBO protocol involving single specialty management, flexible OGD, ≥6 biopsies from the upper and lower oesophagus, and standardisation of oesophageal biopsy reports with a formal eosinophil count.