Background: Topical corticosteroids (TS) have become standard therapy for eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). However, a variety of drug formulations have been used for which results of histological and clinical responses may be different. We aimed at determining the short-term histologic efficacy of TS for EoE based on randomized placebo-controlled trials and to review clinical response. Methods: We searched MEDLINE, ISI Web of Science, and clinicaltrials.gov for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on TS versus placebo for active EoE published until June 2019. Treatment effects were calculated as risk ratios (RRs) comparing histologic remission between groups. Results: Nine RCTs (6 budesonide and 3 fluticasone) involving a total of 483 participants were included. A substantial overall effect of TS on acute histologic remission (RR 12.5, 95% confidence interval 6.0-25.9) was found despite varying definitions of histologic response. Indirect comparisons between drug and formulation types showed a trend for a better histologic efficacy of budesonide (RR 13.5 vs. 10.4 fluticasone) and for the orodispersible tablet (RR 46.2 vs. 11.5 suspension, and 10.4 nebulized formula/spray), but only based on small patient numbers. Scores used for clinical response assessment were different between studies, and short-term clinical results were less impressive: significant differences favoring TS were found in 4/9 RCTs (4/6 budesonide, 0/3 fluticasone). Conclusions: TS are effective for short-term induction of histological remission in EoE with less impressive clinical response rates. The mode of drug delivery to the esophagus may be a relevant factor for the degree of histologic remission. Further trials should use uniform assessment criteria and long-term patient-centered outcomes.