Eosinophil peroxidase is an eosinophil-specific, cytoplasmic protein stored in the secondary granules of eosinophils. While eosinophil peroxidase deposition is increased in the esophagus in eosinophilic esophagitis (EOE), its potential role as a peripheral marker is unknown. This study aims to examine the relationship between serum eosinophil peroxidase and esophageal eosinophilia in eosinophilic esophagitis. Prospectively collected serum from 19 subjects with incident EoE prior to treatment and 20 non-EoE controls were tested for serum eosinophil peroxidase, eosinophilic cationic protein, and eosinophil derived neurotoxin using ELISA. Matching esophageal tissue sections were stained and assessed for eosinophil peroxidase deposition using a histopathologic scoring algorithm. Mean peripheral blood absolute eosinophil counts in eosinophilic esophagitis subjects were significantly elevated compared to controls (363 vs. 195 cells/μL, P = 0.008). Absolute median serum eosinophil peroxidase, eosinophil cationic protein, and eosinophil derived neurotoxin did not differ between groups; however, when normalized for absolute eosinophil counts, eosinophilic esophagitis subjects had significantly lower median eosinophil peroxidase levels (2.56 vs. 6.96 ng/mL per eos/μL, P = 0.002, AUC 0.79 (0.64, 0.94 95% CI)). Multivariate analysis demonstrated this relationship persisted after controlling for atopy. Esophageal biopsies from eosinophilic esophagitis subjects demonstrated marked eosinophil peroxidase deposition (median score 46 vs. 0, P < 0.0001). Normalized eosinophil peroxidase levels inversely correlated with esophageal eosinophil density (r=-0.41, P = 0.009). In contrast to marked tissue eosinophil degranulation, circulating eosinophils appear to retain their granule proteins in EoE. Investigations of normalized serum eosinophil peroxidase levels as a biomarker of EoE are ongoing.
- Eosinophilic esophagitis
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