Alternate Names : Candida infection – esophagus, Yeast infection – esophagus
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Candida esophagitis is caused by the yeast Candida. It occurs when the yeast spreads from the mouth down the esophagus.
The condition is often a sign of a weakened immune system. The following raise your risk for Candida infections:
- Leukemia or lymphoma
- Organ transplants
- Other conditions that suppress or weaken the immune system
If you have a weakened immune system, thrush in the mouth (oral thrush) makes you more likely to get Candida esophagitis.
Pictures & Images
Candida, flourescent stain
This microscopic film shows a fluorescent stain of Candida. Candida is a yeast (fungus) that causes mild disease, but in immunocompromised individuals it may cause life-threatening illness. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)
Painful swallowing and oral lesions are symptoms of Candidal esophagitis, a fungal infection of the esophagus. Candidal esophagitis is treated with antifungal medications. Recovery is dependent on extent of immunosuppression.
Upper gastrointestinal system
The upper gastrointestinal organs include the mouth, esophagus and stomach.
Review Date : 8/28/2009
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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