Comparison of viscous budesonide and fluticasone in the treatment of patients with eosinophilic esophagitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Authors Laith Numan, Mohamad A. Kalot, Tim Brotherton, Ahmad Tarakji, Shadi Hamdeh.


Background Steroids are an important pharmacologic treatment in patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). Fluticasone and budesonide are the 2 main steroid medications used in EOE treatment, but current United States (US) guidelines do not recommend one agent over the other. In this study, we conducted a meta-analysis to compare important patient outcomes when both agents are used.

Methods A comprehensive search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Scopus was performed from each database’s inception to March 29th, 2023. Two independent reviewers systematically identified trials that compared the effect of budesonide vs. fluticasone in the management of EoE. A meta-analysis was performed using a fixed-effects model. The primary outcome was the histologic response (defined as an eosinophil count <15 per high-power field) which reflects the response to treatment.

Results Three studies met our inclusion criteria and were included in the analysis, with a total of 272 patients. All studies were carried out in the US and 1 was a randomized controlled trial. Our meta-analysis showed no statistically significant difference with the use of budesonide compared to fluticasone in achieving a histologic response (odds ratio 1.29, 95% confidence interval 0.77-2.14; P=0.34; I2=0%).

Conclusion Our systematic review and meta-analysis indicated no difference between budesonide and fluticasone in achieving a histologic response in patients with EoE.

Keywords Eosinophilic esophagitis, steroids, treatment, fluticasone, budesonide

Ann Gastroenterol 2023; 36 (5): 511-516

Original Articles