Pediatric Eosinophilic Esophagitis Symptom Scores (PEESS v2.0) identify histologic and molecular correlates of the key clinical features of disease.
BACKGROUND: The Pediatric Eosinophilic Esophagitis Symptom Score (PEESS v2.0) measures patient-relevant outcomes. However, whether patient-identified domains (dysphagia, gastroesophageal reflux disease [GERD], nausea/vomiting, and pain) align with clinical symptomology and histopathologic and molecular features of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is unclear. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether clinical features of EoE, measured through PEESS v2.0, associate with histopathologic and molecular features of EoE. This represents a novel approach for analysis of allergic diseases, given the availability of allergic tissue biopsy specimens. METHODS: We systematically recruited treated and untreated pediatric patients with EoE (aged 2-18 years) and examined parent proxy-reported symptoms using the PEESS v2.0. Clinical symptomology was collected by questionnaire. Esophageal biopsy samples were quantified for levels of eosinophils, eosinophil peroxidase (EPX) immunohistochemical staining, and mast cells. Molecular features were assessed by using the EoE Diagnostic Panel (94 EoE-related gene transcripts). Associations between domain scores and clinical symptoms and biological features were analyzed with Wilcoxon rank sum and Spearman correlation. RESULTS: The PEESS v2.0 domains correlated to specific parent-reported symptoms: dysphagia (P = .0012), GERD (P = .0001), and nausea/vomiting (P < .0001). Pain correlated with multiple symptoms (P < .0005). Dysphagia correlated most strongly with overall histopathology, particularly in the proximal esophagus (P ≤ .0049). Markers of esophageal activity (EPX) were significantly associated with dysphagia (strongest r = 0.37, P = .02). Eosinophil levels were more associated with pain (r = 0.27, P = .06) than dysphagia (r = 0.24, P = .13). The dysphagia domain correlated most with esophageal gene transcript levels, predominantly with mast cell-specific genes. CONCLUSION: We have (1) established a validated, parent proxy-reported measure for pediatric EoE, the PEESS v2.0; (2) verified that the parent proxy effectively captures symptoms; (3) determined that the dysphagia domain most closely aligns with symptoms and tissue-based molecular biomarkers; (4) established that symptoms correlate with EPX staining; and (5) observed association between mast cells and dysphagia.
Martin, LJ; Franciosi, JP; Collins, MH; Abonia, JP; Lee, JJ; Hommel, KA; Varni, JW; Grotjan, JT; Eby, M; He, H; Marsolo, K; Putnam, PE; Garza, JM; Kaul, A; Wen, T; Rothenberg, ME
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