Esophageal candidiasis in an immunocompetent girl

Mohammed Yahya Hasosah, Mahmmod Showail, Ashraf Al-Sahafi, Mohammed Satti, Kevan Jacobson
World Journal of Pediatrics: WJP 2009, 5 (2): 152-4

BACKGROUND: Infections of the esophagus are rare and most commonly seen in children with immune suppression resulting from malignancy, chronic metabolic or infectious disease, or immunosuppressive drug therapy.

METHODS: An 18-month-old girl on inhaled corticosteroid for bronchial asthma presented with coffee-ground emesis and melena. Upper endoscopy revealed yellow-white plaques scattered over the mucosa of the distal esophagus. Biopsy results showed chronic esophagitis with features of reflux disease. Gram staining of esophageal brushing showed pseudohyphae, and the culture was positive for candida species.

RESULTS: The patient was treated with omeprazole 2 mg/kg per day and fluconazole 6 mg/kg per day for three weeks. Immunological workup was normal and she was negative for human immunodeficiency virus. Post treatment endoscopy showed normal appearance of esophageal mucosa and normal histology. At 12 months after treatment, the child remained asymptomatic and continued to thrive.

CONCLUSIONS: We believe that this child developed esophageal candidiasis secondary to long-term use of inhaled corticosteroid associated with immune suppression on a background of reflux esophagitis. Anti-acid and antifungal therapies are effective in the treatment.

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