Infant acid suppression use is associated with the development of eosinophilic esophagitis


Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an esophageal allergic inflammatory disorder often presenting with infant/toddler gastroesophageal reflux symptoms refractory to treatment, including acid suppression trials with histamine H2 antagonists and proton pump inhibitors. We propose to evaluate the impact of infant acid suppressant exposure in EoE. Geisinger's pediatric EoE cases were matched to controls (1:5 EoE case control ratio) using age, race, sex, and ages at other diagnoses of asthma, eczema, and environmental allergies, totaling 526 EoE cases and 2,630 controls. Comparisons between EoE cases and matched controls were tested with regard to rates of acid suppression use with H2 antagonists and PPIs during infancy. Our analyses found the use of acid suppression in infancy was positively associated with EoE: PPI (5.7% EoE cases vs. 1.6% controls; P < 0.0001), H2 antagonists (8.8% EoE cases vs. 4.5% controls; P < 0.0001). Additionally, analysis of EoE cases using acid suppression during infancy indicated a likelihood for the diagnosis with EoE at an earlier age. Early acid suppression use in infants is significantly associated with the diagnosis of EoE in childhood in this well-matched retrospective cohort study. The potential link warrants additional investigation. Our study further reinforces the evidence-based stewardship of acid suppressant use, especially in our most vulnerable populations.

Publication Title

Diseases of the Esophagus