Classification and external resources

Micrograph of herpes esophagitis. H&E stain.
ICD-10 K20
ICD-9 530.10
MeSH D004941

Esophagitis (or oesophagitis) is inflammation of the esophagus. It may be acute or chronic. The acute esophagitis can be catarrhal or phlegmonous, whereas the chronic esophagitis may be hypertrophic or atrophic.




Forms of infectious esophagitis are typically seen in immunocompromised people. Types include:

Endoscopy can be used to distinguish among these conditions.[1]


  • The most common cause is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD, or GORD in British English). If caused by GERD, the disease is also called reflux esophagitis.
  • Chemical injury by alkaline or acid solutions may also cause esophagitis, and is usually seen in children, as well as in adults who attempt suicide by ingestion of caustic substances[2]
  • Physical injury resulting from radiation therapy or by nasogastric tubes may also be responsible.
  • Hyperacidity.
  • Alcohol abuse.
  • Eosinophilic esophagitis is a little understood form of esophagitis, which is thought to be related to food allergies.

Grading of severity

The severity of esophagitis is commonly classified into four grades according to the Los Angeles Classification:[3][4]

Grade A One or more mucosal breaks < 5 mm in maximal length
Grade B One or more mucosal breaks > 5mm, but without continuity across mucosal folds
Grade C Mucosal breaks continuous between > 2 mucosal folds, but involving less than 75% of the esophageal circumference
Grade D Mucosal breaks involving more than 75% of esophageal circumference


  1. ^ Meinhard Classen; Guido N. J. Tytgat; M.D. Ph.D.; Charles J. Lightdale (2010). Gastroenterological Endoscopy. Thieme. pp. 490–. ISBN 9783131258526. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  2. ^ Lawrence M. Tierney, Jr., MD; Stephen J. McPhee, MD; Maxine A. Papadakis, MD. (2007). Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2007 (46 ed.). The McGraw-Hill Companies. ISBN 0071472479. 
  3. ^ > Los Angeles Classification of Esophagitis By M. Farivar; In turn citing: Lund ell L, Dent J, Bennett J, et al. Endoscopic assessment of esophagitis: clinical and functional correlates and further validation of Los Angeles classification. Gut 1999; 45:172-80
  4. ^ Laparoscopic bariatric surgery , Volyme 1. William B. Inabnet, Eric J. DeMaria, Sayeed Ikramuddin. ISBN 0-7817-4874-7.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • esophagitis — noun (plural esophagitides) Etymology: New Latin Date: circa 1900 inflammation of the esophagus …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • esophagitis — noun The inflammation of the oesophagus …   Wiktionary

  • Esophagitis — Inflammation of the esophagus. The esophagus is that soft tube like portion of the digestive tract connecting the pharynx with the stomach. * * * Inflammation of the esophagus. reflux e., peptic e. inflammation of the lower esophagus from… …   Medical dictionary

  • esophagitis — n. inflammation of the esophagus …   English contemporary dictionary

  • esophagitis — esoph·a·gi·tis …   English syllables

  • esophagitis — Inflammation of the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach) …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • esophagitis — noun inflammation of the esophagus; often caused by gastroesophageal reflux • Syn: ↑oesophagitis • Hypernyms: ↑inflammation, ↑redness, ↑rubor …   Useful english dictionary

  • esophagitis dissecans superficialis — infection of the esophagus, with sloughing of the squamous epithelial lining in the form of a tubular cast …   Medical dictionary

  • corrosive esophagitis — esophagitis following ingestion of a caustic or corrosive substance, usually strongly alkaline or acid, such as when a child ingests a household cleaner. Injury may be limited to superficial mucosa or may extend deeper. Called also caustic e …   Medical dictionary

  • fungal esophagitis — esophagitis caused by invasion of the epithelium by a fungus, usually a species of Candida; the incidence is increased among those with diabetes mellitus, hypoparathyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, or immunodeficiency …   Medical dictionary

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