The Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Diseases (EGID) Program has several active studies at the present time including those listed below.
Eosinophilic Esophagitis Longitudinal Database and Biorepository
This study prospectively enrolls patients with suspected and previously diagnosed Eosinophilic Esophagitis seen at Lurie Children’s to better understand clinical subtypes, molecular biomarkers, drivers of treatment response, and ultimately pathogenesis. The study collects clinical information such as demographics, medical and atopic history, family history, and lab work/allergy testing. At the time of endoscopy, validated symptom and quality of life questionnaires are completed by the family, and endoscopic scoring is recorded by an EoE-specialized endoscopist. Histologic scoring is performed by a GI pathologist: Dr. Nicoleta Arva, MD, PhD. Additional biopsies and blood are collected for studies in the laboratory of Dr. Joshua Wechsler to understand the role of mast cells in driving endoscopic and histologic changes, along with molecular predictors and mediators of diet elimination responses.
Potential Non-Invasive Biomarkers as a Surrogate to Repeated Histologic Evaluation to Assess Esophageal Inflammation
Currently, the only way doctors can diagnose the damage of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is by performing an endoscopy with biopsy. We have special laboratory tests that may help us understand the causes of esophageal diseases. Tissues, blood and urine obtained during this study will be used to better understand why these diseases happen. We hope to find out how the esophagus changes and what is causing this to happen.
Evaluation of Esophageal Inflammation (The "String Test")
Doctors often recommend an endoscopy when they believe children may have a problem with the esophagus. We would like to find new ways in the future to study the esophagus without having to do an endoscopy. We have found that liquids released into the esophagus can stick to the string. By studying these liquids we hope to learn more about children’s diseases and find better ways to diagnose and/or treat them.
Cow’s Milk Elimination for Treatment of Eosinophilic Esophagitis
This prospective study eliminating only cow’s milk proteins, which are a common cause of esophageal inflammation in patients with eosinophilic esophagitis, will assess the histologic response in a cohort of children and will attempt to validate the findings of a previously published retrospective study. This study will also characterize patient demographics, symptoms and histologic changes associated with the single food elimination of milk process.