Micrograph of herpes esophagitis. H&E stain.
Classification and external resources
Specialty gastroenterology
ICD-10 K20
ICD-9-CM 530.10
DiseasesDB 9182
MedlinePlus 001153
MeSH D004941

Esophagitis (or oesophagitis) is inflammation of the esophagus. It may be acute or chronic. Acute esophagitis can be catarrhal or phlegmonous, whereas chronic esophagitis may be hypertrophic or atrophic.


Symptoms may be relieved by antacids. Esophagitis causes symptoms of abdominal pain and vomiting. If not treated, it causes discomfort and scarring of the esophagus. This makes swallowing food more difficult.[1]



Forms of infectious esophagitis are typically seen in immunocompromised people. Types include:

Endoscopy can be used to distinguish among these conditions.[2]


Grading of severity

The severity of reflux esophagitis is commonly classified into four grades according to the Los Angeles Classification:[5][6]

Grade A One or more mucosal breaks < 5 mm in maximal length
Grade B One or more mucosal breaks > 5mm, but without continuity across mucosal folds
Grade C Mucosal breaks continuous between > 2 mucosal folds, but involving less than 75% of the esophageal circumference
Grade D Mucosal breaks involving more than 75% of esophageal circumference


  1. MedlinePlus Encyclopedia Esophagitis
  2. Classen, Meinhard; Tytgat, Guido N. J.; Lightdale, Charles J. (2010). Gastroenterological Endoscopy. Thieme. p. 490. ISBN 978-3-13-125852-6.
  3. Tierney, Lawrence M., Jr; McPhee, Stephen J.; Papadakis, Maxine A. (2007). Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2007 (46 ed.). McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-147247-9.
  4. "Oesophogagitis with Doxycycline".
  5. Farivar M. "Los Angeles Classification of Esophagitis". In turn citing: Lundell LR, Dent J, Bennett JR, et al. (August 1999). "Endoscopic assessment of oesophagitis: clinical and functional correlates and further validation of the Los Angeles classification". Gut. 45 (2): 172–80. doi:10.1136/gut.45.2.172. PMC 1727604Freely accessible. PMID 10403727.
  6. Laparoscopic bariatric surgery, Volume 1. William B. Inabnet, Eric J. DeMaria, Sayeed Ikramuddin. ISBN 0-7817-4874-7.
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