David A. Katzka, M.D., has broad research interests in a number of esophageal diseases. His primary interest is in eosinophilic esophagitis, an allergic disease of the esophagus manifest by difficulty swallowing secondary to esophageal scarring and inflammation.
In this area, Dr. Katzka's research focuses on differentiating eosinophilic from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the disease mechanisms that lead to esophageal inflammation in eosinophilic esophagitis, and improving methods of diagnosis and treatment.
Dr. Katzka also has research interests in understanding esophageal motility disorders such as achalasia and Barrett's esophagus, factors that contribute to gastroesophageal reflux disease, and unusual diseases of the esophagus.
- Eosinophilic esophagitis. Studies examining biopsies from patients to determine diagnostic features that are specific for eosinophilic esophagitis and elucidating the mechanism by which food antigens trigger disease; maintenance treatment trials with topical corticosteroids; and determination of risk factors for eosinophilic esophagitis in patients with other allergic diseases.
- Esophageal motility disorders. A peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) treatment trial; determination of risk factors for recurrence of disease; and classification of mechanisms for belching.
- Gastroesophageal reflux. Experiments examining the existence and role of the acid pocket in GERD, as well as determination by genetic testing which patients with GERD will respond to standard doses of proton pump inhibitors and which patients need higher dosing.
- Unusual esophageal diseases. Treatment studies for lichen planus involving the esophagus and radiologic findings in secondary achalasia.
Significance to patient care
Research in Dr. Katzka's areas of interest is:
- Helping to secure an accurate diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis; aiding in understanding the cause of the disease, which will lead to new therapies; and determining if patients with eosinophilic esophagitis will benefit from long-term maintenance therapy
- Testing a new, less-invasive means of treating achalasia without the need for surgery
- Helping guide physicians on how to adjust the use of proton pump inhibitor doses for treating patients with severe GERD
- Creating a study group of people who are experts in treating patients with unusual esophageal diseases
- Distinguished Clinician Award, American Gastroenterological Association, 2010
- Special Sections Editor, Gastroenterology, 2005-2010
- Editorial Board, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2006-2011
- Secretary, Gastroenterology Section, American Board of Internal Medicine, 2004-2010
- Best Doctors in America List, 2002-present