Purpose of review
A multitude of inflammatory diseases other than gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and eosinophilic esophagitis can affect the esophagus. Despite the deceptively simple organization of squamous mucosa and its limited number of inflammatory responses, a wide array of histologic patterns can be seen in inflammatory disorders involving the esophagus. Each such histologic pattern is associated with a limited number of underlying conditions, and the clinician can use this information to narrow the differential diagnosis. The purpose of this review is to review and discuss the pathologic diagnosis of esophagitis caused by conditions other than GERD or eosinophilic esophagitis, with an emphasis on recent developments in the field.
Recent studies suggest that lymphocytic esophagitis may be a histologic manifestation of esophageal motility disorders. Immunophenotypic features of infiltrating lymphocytes may be helpful in this scenario. immunoglobulin G4-related disease has been implicated as a cause of esophageal inflammation with ulceration, strictures, and mass-forming fibrosis, whereas epidermoid metaplasia has been linked molecularly to the squamous cell neoplasia pathway.
Improved knowledge and appreciation of the pathology of esophageal inflammation are needed to better understand the pathogenesis of various types of esophagitis, and to inform new approaches to the therapy and management of inflammatory esophageal diseases.