Investigations people with EA may require, and follow-up

It’s often advisable to have a team of doctors following someone with EA. For children, the team may include a pediatric gastroenterologist (“stomach specialist”), a pediatric surgeon, a pediatric respirologist (“lung specialist”) and/or a pediatrician. For adults, the team may include a gastroenterologist, a surgeon, a respirologist and/or an internist. EA is a rare condition, and many specialists (particularly adult specialists) may not be very familiar with this condition, and its potential complications.

In people with EA who have respiratory symptoms such as persistent cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, sputum production, and/or recurrent episodes of bronchitis or pneumonia, it’s important to rule out tracheomalacia and aspiration, before assuming that the symptom(s) are due to conventional asthma. Tests that may be helpful in this situation can include:

As the risk of Barret’s Esophagus and esophageal cancer appears to be increased in adults with EA, many experts are now recommending regular upper endoscopies throughout adulthood.

Tom Kovesi MD, Pediatric Respirologist, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario Canada