APFED Announces 2022 NASPGHAN Outstanding EGID Abstract Award Recipients

October 19, 2022

Award honors two best-scoring abstracts focused on eosinophilic gastrointestinal disease

(Atlanta, GA)—The American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) has recognized two outstanding research works at the Annual Meeting of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) held October 12-15 in Orlando, Florida. NASPGHAN is the professional society for pediatric gastroenterologists in North America, serving clinical gastroenterologists and scientists from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Two recipients were presented with an Outstanding EGID Abstract Awards at the annual meeting. These awards were established to recognize the best-scoring abstracts on eosinophil-associated gastrointestinal diseases (EGIDs) and the funds help offset travel costs to attend the meeting and present their finding to their peers.

The 2022 NASPGHAN Outstanding EGID Abstract Award recipients are Jessina Thomas, MD, of Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, FL, for her abstract titled, “Monitoring Eosinophilic Esophagitis Disease Activity Using the Blind Esophageal Brushing Method,” and Rethavathi Janarthanam, PhD, of Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, IL, for her abstract titled, “Carboxypeptidase A3 Is Elevated in Mast Cells Spatially Located by Basal Epithelial Cells and Drives Basal Cell Hyperplasia via Loss of Desmoglein-1 in Eosinophilic Esophagitis.”

Dr. Thomas and her team looked at a less invasive alternative to serial endoscopies to monitor changes in patients with eosinophilic esophagitis. The aim of this study was to examine a model using serial blind esophageal brushings (collecting eosinophils using a brush through an NGT) to monitor therapy response through eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (a potential biomarker for inflammation/increased numbers of eosinophils) levels and guide therapy decisions in EoE patients. This study suggests a model in which blind esophageal brushing can be used to monitor therapy response and disease activity in pediatric patients with established EoE.

Dr. Janarthanam’s team studied the role of mast cells in the esophagus to determine their role in eosinophilic esophagitis.  This study is looking at specific chemical signals released by mast cells that affect the function of the epithelial layer of the esophagus. The results of this study led researchers to conclude that one of these chemical signals, CPA3+, is present in active EoE and causes the overgrowth of the cells and loss of barrier integrity.

About the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED)

The American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to passionately embrace, support, and improve the lives of patients and families affected by eosinophil-associated diseases through education and awareness, research, support, and advocacy. www.apfed.org.