Literature review of common causes, diagnostic and treatment options for infectious esophagitis

Modestas Šaulys1, Paulius Meškauskas1, Antanas Dambrauskas2

1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Medical Academy, Kaunas, Lithuania

2Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Kauno Clinics, Department of Gastroenterology, , Kaunas, Lithuania


Background. Infectious esophagitis is an inflammation of the lining of the esophagus, with clinical and severe swallowing, heartburn, sternal pain and nausea. The disease is caused by infectious factors: viruses, fungi, bacteria. Patients who experience these symptoms and have a history should select appropriate diagnostic measures to differentiate them from other forms of oesophagitis and to select appropriate treatment to stop the progression of the disease in a timely manner.

Aim: to analyze the epidemiology, etiology, clinical features, differential diagnosis and treatment of infectious esophagitis based on publications selected according to inclusion criteria.

Methods. Review of scientific literature. The search for scientific literature was performed using virtual databases of scientific literature, the review has included written articles or clinical trials, systematic literature analyzes, or clinical case studies related to the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment principles of infectious esophagitis published since 2015.

Results. The most common causes of infectious esophagitis are Herpes simplex, Cytomegalovirus viruses and C. Albigans. About 65 % of adults are infected with the HSV-1 virus. HSV-induced esophagitis is more common in men rather than women. The main clinical signs of infectious esophagitis are dysphagia and odinophagia: burning pain in the sternum or heartburn that occurs when lying down or eating fatty foods and is likely to cause GERD. Fibroesophagogastroduodenoscopy (FEGDS) is the best test to confirm the pathogen. Treatment of the disease is symptomatic and medical – according to the identified pathogen during the biopsy.

Conclusions. The most common causes of infectious esophagitis are viruses and fungi. FEGDS is the best test to confirm the pathogen. According to the identified pathogen during the biopsy, the treatment of the disease is medication and symptomatic.

Keywords: infectious esophagitis, esophagitis, GERD

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