Esophagitis Dissecans Superficialis: Clinical, Endoscopic, and Histologic Features

Phil A. Hart, Ryan C. Romano, Roger K. Moreira, Karthik Ravi, Seth Sweetser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Esophagitis dissecans superficialis (EDS) is a desquamative disorder of the esophagus, but there is a paucity of the literature regarding this condition. Aim: We examined our institution’s experience to further characterize clinical outcomes, and endoscopic and histopathologic features. Methods: Endoscopy and pathology databases were retrospectively reviewed from 2000 to 2013 at Mayo Clinic Rochester to identify potential cases of EDS. Medical records and endoscopic images were reviewed to identify cases, and original pathologic specimens were also reviewed. Clinical, endoscopic, and histologic characteristics of EDS were defined. Results: Forty-one subjects were identified with a median age at diagnosis of 65.0 years (IQR 52.8–76.1) and a female preponderance (63.4 %). Many patients were taking a psychoactive agent (73.1 %) or acid-suppressive therapy (58.5 %) preceding the index endoscopy. Strips of sloughed membranes had a predilection for the distal and/or middle esophagus and resolved in 85.7 % of subjects at endoscopic follow-up. Parakeratosis and intraepithelial splitting were histologic features seen in all patients, while splitting of the connective tissue and intraepithelial bullae were seen in 46.2 and 11.1 %, respectively. There were no disease-related complications at a median follow-up of 10.4 months (IQR 1.2–17.2). Conclusions: EDS is likely under-recognized. A distinct endoscopic feature of EDS is “sloughing” strips of mucosa with parakeratosis and intraepithelial splitting being sine qua non histologic findings. The use of psychoactive agents (particularly a SSRI or SNRI) was prevalent at endoscopic diagnosis, although the clinical relevance of this is uncertain. EDS appears to be a benign, incidental finding without complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2049-2057
Number of pages9
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 21 2015


  • Esophageal membrane
  • Intraepithelial splitting
  • Parakeratosis
  • Sloughing esophagitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology
  • Medicine(all)


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