Contents

SynopsisCodesLook ForDiagnostic PearlsDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsManagement PearlsTherapyReferences

Information for Patients

Esophagitis
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Esophagitis

Contributors: Michael W. Winter MD, Christine Osborne MD, Paritosh Prasad MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Esophagitis is an acute or chronic inflammatory process affecting the esophageal wall that can cause chest pain, dyspepsia, odynophagia, or dysphagia and lead to complications such as strictures, food impactions, gastrointestinal bleeding, and even esophageal perforation. There are many causes of esophagitis, including:
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease – The most common cause, with symptoms resulting from a combination of refluxed gastric acid and pepsin leading to inflammation and ultimately necrosis of the esophageal wall, causing ulcers and erosions.
  • Infectious esophagitis – Common in patients with immunodeficiency or those on immunosuppressive medications. Common infections include Candida spp., herpes simplex virus type 1 or 2, varicella zoster virus, and cytomegalovirus, especially in organ-transplant recipients.
  • Radiation esophagitis – Develops after treatment for thoracic cancers, especially breast cancer, with the risk proportional to the radiation dosage. Symptoms may last weeks to months after the completion of therapy. Stricture is a common consequence.
  • Corrosive esophagitis – Follows ingestion of alkali or acidic materials. Stricture is a common consequence of this time of injury and may require dilation.
Related topics: Eosinophilic esophagitis, Drug-induced esophagitis

Codes

ICD10CM:
K20.90 – Esophagitis, unspecified without bleeding

SNOMEDCT:
16761005 – Esophagitis

Look For

Subscription Required

Diagnostic Pearls

Subscription Required

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Peptic ulcer disease
  • Gastritis
  • Acute coronary syndrome
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Achalasia (see Esophageal motility disorder)
  • Esophageal web / Schatzki ring
  • Esophageal spasm (see Esophageal motility disorder)
  • Nutcracker esophagus (see Esophageal motility disorder)
  • Herpangina
  • Gingivostomatitis (eg, Orofacial herpes simplex virus)
  • Zenker diverticulum
  • Gastroparesis
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (eg, Crohn disease)
  • Malignancy (particularly Esophageal carcinoma, Gastric cancer, small bowel, Pancreatic carcinoma)
  • Biliary colic (see Biliary calculus)
  • Acute Acute cholecystitis
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Drug-induced esophagitis (NSAIDs, alcohol, caffeine, antibiotics, corticosteroids, opiates, digoxin)

Best Tests

Subscription Required

Management Pearls

Subscription Required

Therapy

Subscription Required

References

Subscription Required

Last Reviewed:12/14/2017
Last Updated:09/16/2020
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Patient Information for Esophagitis
Print E-Mail Images (1)
Contributors: Medical staff writer
Premium Feature
VisualDx Patient Handouts
Available in the Elite package
  • Improve treatment compliance
  • Reduce after-hours questions
  • Increase patient engagement and satisfaction
  • Written in clear, easy-to-understand language. No confusing jargon.
  • Available in English and Spanish
  • Print out or email directly to your patient
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Esophagitis
Print  
A medical illustration showing key findings of Esophagitis : Chest pain, Nausea, Vomiting, Upper abdominal pain, Dysphagia, Dyspepsia, Regurgitation
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.