Viral Esophagitis

Viral esophagitis is a type of inflammation of the esophagus caused by a viral infection. The esophagus is a muscular tube that carries food and liquids from the mouth to the stomach. Viral infections that can cause esophagitis include herpes simplex virus (HSV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), and varicella-zoster virus (VZV).


The diagnosis of viral esophagitis is typically made by performing an endoscopy, in which a small camera is inserted through the mouth to visualize the inside of the esophagus, and by taking a biopsy of the affected tissue.


  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Chest pain.
  • Heartburn.
  • Nausea with or without vomiting.
  • Weight loss. 


Treatment for viral esophagitis may include antiviral medications, pain medications, and supportive care to help manage symptoms. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary. It is important to practice good hygiene and to avoid close contact with individuals who have a viral infection to help prevent the spread of viruses and to reduce the risk of developing viral esophagitis.


Viral esophagitis is an inflammation of the esophagus caused by a viral infection. The most common viruses that cause viral esophagitis are the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and the cytomegalovirus (CMV).

Symptoms of viral esophagitis can include difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), chest pain, a feeling of food sticking in the throat, and fever. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Viral esophagitis is more common in people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or cancer. People who have had organ transplants or are receiving immunosuppressive therapy are also at risk.

Viral esophagitis is typically diagnosed based on symptoms and an endoscopy, where a small camera is inserted into the esophagus to examine the lining. Biopsies of the inflamed areas confirm the diagnosis and the specific virus. Blood tests can also be performed to identify the specific virus causing the infection.

Treatment for viral esophagitis typically involves antiviral medication to fight the infection, as well as medications to relieve symptoms such as pain and inflammation. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary.

There is no specific way to prevent viral esophagitis. However, practicing good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly, can help to reduce the risk of infection. People with weakened immune systems should take extra precautions to avoid exposure to viral infections.