Journal of Family and Community Medicine

: 2016  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 120--121

Esophageal eosinophilia in secondary adrenal insufficiency

Chetana Sen1, Krishnarpan Chatterjee2,  
1 Department of Medicine, Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Medicine, ESI Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Krishnarpan Chatterjee
B-7/11, Diamond Park, Diamond Hoarbour Road, Joka, Kolkata - 700 104, West Bengal

How to cite this article:
Sen C, Chatterjee K. Esophageal eosinophilia in secondary adrenal insufficiency.J Fam Community Med 2016;23:120-121

How to cite this URL:
Sen C, Chatterjee K. Esophageal eosinophilia in secondary adrenal insufficiency. J Fam Community Med [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 Oct 17 ];23:120-121
Available from:

Full Text


A 50-year-old female presented with an insidious history of dysphagia to solids and recurrent vomiting of 3 months' duration associated with abdominal pain, nausea, and weight loss. She had a history of prolonged use of over the counter steroids for rheumatoid arthritis. On examination, she had alabaster skin, blood pressure of 90/60 mm of Hg, and low volume pulse. She had diffuse per-abdominal tenderness without guarding or rigidity. There was no organomegaly. Other system examination was normal. A clinical diagnosis of secondary adrenal insufficiency was made and intravenous (IV) dexamethasone was started empirically with IV fluid replacement. Her peripheral smear revealed total leukocyte count of 4000/ with eosinophilia (absolute eosinophil count = 1000, 25%). She had hyponatremia (Na - 120 mEq/L) and normal potassium levels (K - 5.3 mEq/L). Her basal cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone was low (4 µg/dL and 12 pg/mL). Cortisol failed to rise above 18 µg/dL 30 min after 250 µg of cosyntropin. Endoscopy showed transient esophageal rings and linear furrows resembling idiopathic eosinophilic esophagitis [Figure 1] and [Figure 2]. Biopsy taken from multiple sites revealed mucosal eosinophils >20 per high power field. She had episodes of hypoglycemia which were managed with IV dextrose. She then developed shock refractory to IV hydrocortisone and inotropes and suffered a cardiac arrest on the 4th day of admission and could not be resuscitated.{Figure 1}{Figure 2}

Adrenal insufficiency is a cause for peripheral blood eosinophilia. Esophageal eosinophilia can have many causes which must be excluded before a diagnosis of idiopathic eosinophilic esophagitis is made.[1] Rodrigo et al. demonstrated that intraepithelial eosinophilia as described in the diagnostic criteria for eosinophilic esophagitis can be seen in other diseases as well.[2] Endoscopic and histopathological features consistent with eosinophilic esophagitis have not been described before in association with eosinophilia in secondary adrenal insufficiency. It is important to rule out underlying systemic causes before a diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis is made.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Dellon ES, Gonsalves N, Hirano I, Furuta GT, Liacouras CA, Katzka DA; American College of Gastroenterology. ACG clinical guideline: Evidenced based approach to the diagnosis and management of esophageal eosinophilia and eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). Am J Gastroenterol 2013;108:679-92.
2Rodrigo S, Abboud G, Oh D, DeMeester SR, Hagen J, Lipham J, et al. High intraepithelial eosinophil counts in esophageal squamous epithelium are not specific for eosinophilic esophagitis in adults. Am J Gastroenterol 2008;103:435-42.