Crohn's disease

Author: Elliot Weisenberg, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 11 January 2018, last major update October 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Crohn's disease esophagus[TI]

Cite this page: Weisenberg, E. Crohn's disease. website. Accessed November 21st, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Cannot definitely diagnose on biopsy, need resection specimen; however, can suggest diagnosis with appropriate findings
  • Associated with GI Crohn's disease; esophageal involvement in 0.2 - 13% with ileocolic Crohn's disease
  • Usually extraesophageal Crohn's disease at time of presentation in esophagus (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2001;7:113)
  • Isolated esophageal involvement is extremely rare; when first diagnosed in esophagus, intestinal involvement usually follows
  • Clinical and endoscopic appearances are highly variable and may not correlate (J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2003;36:454)
Case reports
Gross description
  • Early: mucosal hyperemia and aphthous ulcers
  • Late: discrete ulcers of lower 2/3, fibrosis, stenosis, fistulas
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Deep and aphthoid ulcers, transmural inflammation, nonnecrotizing granulomas, epithelioid nonnecrotizing granulomas in 7 - 9% (Am J Gastroenterol 1997;92:1467)
Positive stains