BACKGROUND: Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) has been defined as "asthma of the esophagus" for the large number of similarities between the two diseases. Omalizumab is an anti-Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody currently approved only in allergic IgE-mediated severe persistent uncontrolled asthma and in chronic spontaneous urticaria unresponsive to antihistamines, but it has been tried in other diseases, too. CASE PRESENTATION: We present herein the case of a 13-year-old boy, affected from preschool age by severe chronic allergic asthma poorly controlled despite a generous long-term therapy, and, since he was 8 years old, by eosinophilic esophagitis, responsive to courses of strict elimination diet and semi-elemental diet, even if very burdensome for his quality of life. At the age of 11.5 years, for inadequate asthma control, he started to receive therapy with omalizumab. After the first month and for the entire duration (18 months) of omalizumab treatment, asthma was well controlled, long-term conventional therapy was gradually withdrawn and lung- function improved. Concerning EoE, after an initial clinical but not histological remission during the first few months of treatment with omalizumab, the patient experienced an exacerbation of gastrointestinal symptoms. Therefore, he started treatment with topical steroids which was effective to improve gastrointestinal symptoms. However, EoE is still steroid-dependent. Currently, he continues both treatments: omalizumab for asthma and topical steroid for EoE. CONCLUSIONS: This case report confirms that omalizumab is an effective treatment in patients with severe persistent, uncontrolled asthma. On the other hand, in our patient it did not produce persistent improvement neither on symptoms nor on biopsy findings of EoE. The outcome of this case might indicate different pathogenic mechanism(s) of the two diseases.
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