Esophagitis

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

  • Medical Editor: Bhupinder Anand, MD
woman with abdominal pain

Quick GuideDigestive Disease Myths Pictures Slideshow: Common Misconceptions

Digestive Disease Myths Pictures Slideshow: Common Misconceptions

What are the types of esophagitis?

There are several types of esophagitis.

  • Reflux esophagitis is caused by a reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus.
  • Infectious esophagitis is caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungus.
  • Barrett's esophagus results from untreated inflammation of the esophagus that can cause changes in the type of cells that make up the inner lining (mucosa) of the esophagus. Barrett's esophagus increases the risk for esophageal cancer.
  • Eosinophilic esophagitis is inflammation of the esophagus due to an increase in the number of a type of white blood cells (eosinophils) in the lining of the esophageal wall. This leads to dysmotility of the esophagus (the muscles do not work properly to move food through) and difficulty in swallowing. Causes of eosinophilic esophagitis include food allergies, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), parasitic diseases, or inflammatory bowel diseases.
  • Behçt's syndrome (also called Behçet's disease) is a form of vasculitis that can cause ulcers in the mouth, esophagus and other parts of the body. This disease is rare in the U.S.
  • Graft-versus-host disease is a complication that can occur after a transplant (usually bone marrow transplant) when the newly transplanted cells attack the recipient's body. Esophagitis may occur in this condition.
  • Cancer esophagitis may be a symptom of cancer of the esophagus, or metastatic cancer (cancer that started in another part of the body and then spreads to the esophagus).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/23/2016

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