Adrenal Insufficiency in Children with Eosinophilic Esophagitis Treated with Topical Corticosteroids

Paroma Bose, Sanjay Kumar, Todd D. Nebesio, Chuwen Li, Emily C. Hon, Dan Atkins, Glenn T. Furuta, Sandeep K. Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Objectives:The aim of the study was to identify practices of gastroenterologists screening for adrenal insufficiency (AI) and report prevalence of AI in children with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) treated with topical corticosteroids (TCS); compare serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) levels to morning serum cortisol (MSC) levels as screening tool for AI.Methods:A multipart study was conducted. In part 1, a survey about screening practices for AI in children with EoE on TCS was sent to gastroenterologists belonging to a PedsGI listserv and to EoE consortia. In part 2, children with EoE on TCS for ≥6 months were prospectively screened for AI with MSC levels. For subjects with a MSC level of <10 μg/dL, a repeat MSC level and/or confirmatory adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation testing was offered. AI was defined by peak serum cortisol level <18 μg/dL. In part 3, DHEA-S levels were drawn with MSC levels.Results:Seven percent (16/238) of gastroenterologists screened for AI. Providers in EoE consortia were more likely to screen than nonconsortia providers [9/21(43%) vs 7/217(3%); P = 0.0001]. Thirty-seven children were prospectively screened for AI, and 51% (19/37) had a low MSC level. Ten patients had a low-dose ACTH stimulation test (LDST) after 1 or more low MSC levels. Five percent (2/37) of patients were diagnosed with AI. DHEA-S and MSC levels had a moderate correlation (rs = 0.44, P = 0.03).Conclusions:Gastroenterologists belonging to EoE consortia were more likely to screen for AI. Prevalence of AI in our prospective cohort was 5%. DHEA-S has a moderate correlation with MSC levels, but more data is required to assess utility as a screening tool for AI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-329
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • adrenal insufficiency
  • adrenal suppression
  • corticosteroids
  • eosinophilic esophagitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology

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