EoE is diagnosed by taking a biopsy of the tissue in your esophagus and determining how many eosinophil cells are present per high powered field (hpf). A result of >15 cells per hpf will typically result in a diagnosis of EoE (if other conditions or sources of eosinophils are excluded like GERD).
Numbers can vary significantly based on the location the biopsy tissue is taken from. For example, in studies the eosinophil count varied greatly from different tissue in different parts of the esophagus. If only one sample is taken, it could be from a part of the esophagus that is not significantly affected with the cells and results in an erroneous diagnosis. Biopsies are most reliable when taken from multiple parts of the esophagus to have a accurate result.
SO – what is your number and how does it compare?
Well, during a major study of people with EoE, the range of cells per hpf were from 15 to just over 100. The majority of them were in the middle around 40-50 eosinophils, with the most severe cases above 100 (max of 109). This study may be a good gauge of the general EoE population and the range of cell counts.