Long-Term Outcomes of the Six-Food Elimination Diet and Food Reintroduction in a Large Cohort of Adults with Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Angelika Zalewski, Bethany Doerfler, Amanda Krause, Ikuo Hirano, Nirmala Gonsalves*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION:Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an immune-mediated inflammatory condition with tissue eosinophilia resulting in esophageal dysfunction. The six-food elimination diet (SFED) is an EoE treatment approach that removes milk, wheat, soy, eggs, tree nuts/peanuts, and fish/shellfish. After histologic remission, food reintroduction occurs to identify a food trigger. Outcomes from large series of adults undergoing SFED and food reintroduction as clinical care are not known.METHODS:A retrospective review (2006-2021) of adult patients with EoE from an academic center was completed. Patients were classified as full responders (<15 eos/hpf) after SFED. If reintroduction was pursued, food triggers identified were recorded.RESULTS:Two hundred thirteen patients completed SFED. One hundred fifteen patients (54%) had response <15 eos/hpf after SFED. Seventy-seven percent of responders had symptom improvement. Thirty-two percent of initial nonresponders underwent repeat dietary elimination. Fifty-eight percent of patients (n=123) achieved <15 eos/hpf after either initial or extended SFED. Seventy-eight percent of responders underwent food reintroduction. Sixty-nine percent had 1 food trigger identified, 24% had 2 allergens identified, and 4% had 3 allergens identified. The most common food triggers identified were milk, wheat, and soy.DISCUSSION:This study describes the largest cohort reported of adult patients with EoE completing SFED with food reintroduction. The overall SFED histologic response was 54%, which increased to 58% with 1 additional round of dietary therapy, suggesting that 31% may respond in a second attempt. Most patients who completed food reintroduction had a single food trigger identified. Dietary elimination with specific food trigger identification is a feasible alternative to medical therapy for adults with EoE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1963-1970
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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