Cases reported "Intestinal Diseases"

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1/9. Familial enteropathy: a syndrome of protracted diarrhea from birth, failure to thrive, and hypoplastic villus atrophy.

    We have studied 5 infants with persistent severe diarrhea from birth and marked abnormalities of absorption associated with failure to thrive leading to death in 4 infants. Three had siblings who died and a sibling of a 4th is ill at present, all with a similar illness; 2 were the products of consanguinous marriages. Exhaustive investigation failed to identify a recognized disease entity in any patient. steatorrhea, sugar malabsorption, dehydration, and acidosis were severe in all patients, whatever the diet fed. Total parenteral nutrition was used, but excessive stool water and electrolyte losses persisted even when nothing was fed by mouth. There was no evidence of a hematological or consistent immunological defect in any infant and no abnormalities of intestinal hormones were noted. In the duodenal mucosa of all infants we saw similar abnormalities characterized by villus atrophy, crypt hypoplasia without an increase in mitoses or inflammatory cell infiltrate in the lamina propria and in villus enterocytes absence of a brush border, increase in lysosome-like inclusions, and autophagocytosis. In 3 infants studied by marker perfusion of the proximal jejunum we found abnormal glucose absorption and a blunted response of Na absorption to actively transported nonelectrolytes; in 2 there was net secretion of Na and H2O in the basal state. Our patients evidently suffered from a congenital enteropathy which caused profound defects in their capacity to assimilate nutrients. The similar structural lesion seen in the small intestinal epithelium of all of our cases undoubtedly contributed to their compromised intestinal function, but the pathogenesis of this disorder, if indeed it is a single disease, remains obscure.
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2/9. Intestinal spirochetosis in eight pediatric patients from Southern sweden.

    Intestinal spirochetes in humans have been recognized for more than a century, but it is still a matter of debate whether they are just commensal organisms or whether they cause colorectal disease. Most descriptions to date are of adult patients, while reports in the pediatric literature have been scarce. In a retrospective study we found eight children with intestinal spirochetosis. The findings, clinical as well as pathological, with light- and electron microscopy, are presented. In all patients, a 3 microm-thick layer of spirochetes was visualised on the luminal aspect of the epithelial cells covering the enterocytes and part of the gland openings. In five of the eight cases an inflammatory cell reaction was seen by light microscopy and in one patient a picture suggesting intracytoplasmatically located spirochetes was seen by electron microscopy. Despite partial or complete destruction of microvilli, spirochetes were still able to adhere to the enterocyte membranes. In three children there was a clear correlation between treatment and relief of symptoms. In four there was partial improvement and in one child no change in bowel-related symptoms. We believe that intestinal spirochetes may cause colorectal disease in children. Possible pathogenic mechanisms are discussed.
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3/9. Microvillous inclusion disease.

    Congenital defects in the intestinal mucosa can provoke diarrhea in the neonatal period. This kind of diarrhea is difficult to treat and the outcome is bad if intestinal transplantation is not done. We describe the case of newborn female with severe protracted secretory diarrhea, which started after first oral intake of breast milk. The newborn presented with severe dehydration and persistent metabolic acidosis though potential treatment was not stopped. endoscopy with the biopsies from the distal part of duodenum mucosa was done on the third week of life. Histological examination revealed the pathological mucosa with the total microvillous atrophy, surface epithelium thinning and histochemical PAS (periodic acid-schiff reaction) positivity of enterocytes apical region. These changes are typical for rare microvillous inclusion disease. When the diagnosis of microvillous inclusion disease is made, the only treatment is total parenteral nutrition and intestinal transplantation.
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4/9. enterocytozoon bieneusi (Microspora): prevalence and pathogenicity in AIDS patients.

    microsporidia are unicellular organisms, which lack mitochondria. They have prokaryotic-like ribosomes and characteristic spores containing an extrusible polar tube which serves as a passage for inoculation of the infectious agent (sporoplasm) into host cells. Clinically apparent infections in man appear to be limited to immunoprivileged sites or immunocompromised patients. One species, encephalitozoon cuniculi, has been reported several times in patients with neurological disorders and once causing a fatal hepatitis in an AIDS patient. The most recently discovered species, enterocytozoon bieneusi, is known only from the small intestinal enterocytes of patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and is easily differentiated from other microsporidia by the precocious development of spore organelles in the sporont and by the poor development of the endospore layer of the spore wall. Although only about 40 cases have been reported, circumstantial evidence suggests that E. bieneusi may be the cause of a severe watery diarrhoea, which responds only temporarily to treatment with metronidazole.
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5/9. Chronic enterocyte infection with coronavirus. One possible cause of the syndrome of tropical sprue?

    A man with a gastrojejunostomy and intestinal malabsorption was found to be excreting large numbers of coronavirus-like particles in his stools over a period of at least eight months. coronavirus-like particles were found in vesicles in degenerating jejunal enterocytes in all of five jejunal biopsies. In a review of electron micrographs, similar structures were found in biopsies from three of 12 patients with classical chronic tropical sprue and in one patient with a sprue-like syndrome associated with agammaglobulinaemia. The hypothesis is advanced that infection with this virus may produce enterocyte damage and may be one cause of the syndrome of tropical sprue.
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6/9. Autoimmune enteropathy with anti-goblet cell antibodies.

    A 9-year-old boy with a 5-year history of severe protracted diarrhea requiring home parenteral nutrition and a 1 year history of abnormal liver function tests was admitted for duodenal, rectal, and liver biopsy. Duodenal biopsy results showed mild villus blunting, a mild lymphocytic infiltrate, and absent goblet cells. paneth cells and endocrine cells could not be identified. review of several previous biopsies showed an almost total absence of goblet cells by light microscopy. Anti-goblet cell antibodies of the immunoglobulin (Ig)G class were shown by immunofluorescence with a titer of 1:512. Histological examination of rectal mucosa also showed a total lack of goblet cells, orderly surface epithelial cells, and infiltration of the colonic crypts by lymphocytes. Immunoperoxidase staining of rectal mucosa showed increased numbers of lymphocytes with an excess of CD3 , CD45RO T cells, and increased numbers of B cells labeling with B1 and L26. Increased numbers of CD25 (activated) lymphocytes were also observed. HLA/DR expression was striking and observed in both the crypt and surface enterocytes, as well as in the lamina propria. Immunological assessment of the patient showed an inverted CD4/CD8 ratio and IgA/IgG4 deficiency. The liver biopsy and radiological investigation were in keeping with chronic sclerosing cholangitis. Although a slight and transient improvement in histological appearances was observed with prednisolone there was no significant improvement of diarrhea. Trials of azothiaprine and oral cyclosporin did not result in clinical or histological improvement.
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7/9. A case of intractable diarrhea firmly suspected to have autoimmune enteropathy.

    Protracted diarrhea with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (DM) and hypothyroidism in a 9 month old Japanese girl who was firmly suspected to have autoimmune enteropathy (AIE) is reported. Her severe secretory diarrhea failed to respond to intensive antidiarrheic treatment and was gradually improved with steroid therapy. The circulating autoantibodies to enterocytes in her serum were detected by indirect immunofluorescence technique and the impaired suppressor T (Ts) cell function was proved by plaque forming assay using bead-separated CD4 or CD8 T cells together with CD19 B cells. The anti-enterocyte antibodies were exclusively of immunoglobulin m (IgM) class and were detected with the progress of the protracted diarrhea. Maximum antibody titer was obtained at the onset of DM and the disappearance of autoantibodies was associated with the resolution of the clinical symptoms and signs. The helper functions of adult CD4 T cells to induce Ig-secreting cells from adult and the patient were strikingly suppressed by adult CD8 T cells. However, the CD8 T cells from the patient lost the ability to inhibit the induction of these Ig-secreting cells when stimulated with adult CD4 T cells. Moreover, the patient's CD8 T cells stimulated rather than suppressed the induction of Ig-secreting cells from the patient when stimulated with the patient's CD4 T cells. These results suggest that the impaired Ts cell function in this patient might play some immunological role in the pathogenesis of AIE.
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8/9. Familial autoimmune enteropathy with circulating anti-bullous pemphigoid antibodies and chronic autoimmune hepatitis.

    In a family of four children (two boys and two girls), the two brothers had severe, protracted watery diarrhea beginning at 2 and 3 weeks of life, respectively. Duodenal mucosa in both patients showed total villous atrophy and severe inflammatory infiltration of the entire bowel. The first patient also had lymphoid cell infiltration of the pancreas and died at 6 weeks of age. The second boy is alive at 2 years of age and is immunocompetent, but still receives total parenteral nutrition. Indirect immunofluorescence studies revealed circulating antibodies to enterocytes, smooth muscle, thyroid, and islet cells. Bullous pemphigoid antibodies (230 and 180 kd), specific for hemidesmosomal proteins and usually associated with a subepidermal blistering skin disease, were detected by direct and indirect immunofluorescence studies and by Western immunoblot. A diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis was made, based on evidence of chronic active hepatitis and circulating anti-smooth muscle antibody. Immunosuppressive treatments induced partial clinical remission of the diarrhea but no resolution of the small bowel injury. At 16 months of age, remission of the diarrhea occurred, but persistent autoimmune hepatitis led us to maintain treatment with prednisone and azathioprine, and later with cyclosporine. In this child, as in other patients with autoimmune disease, the link between autoantibodies and organ damage remains uncertain but immunosuppressive treatment is indicated.
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9/9. A Japanese family of X-linked auto-immune enteropathy with haemolytic anaemia and polyendocrinopathy.

    Three cases of X-linked auto-immune enteropathy with haemolytic anaemia and polyendocrinopathy are described from one related Japanese kindred. Two boys had died due to severe diarrhoea accompanied by total or subtotal intestinal villous atrophy. In contrast, although one patient showed the same symptoms and had circulating IgG antibodies against enterocytes, his condition improved dramatically and he developed well following the use of cyclosporin A (CSA). CSA may be beneficial in patients with this rare disorder. Auto-immune enteropathy should be considered as a cause of protracted diarrhoea with unknown aetiology.
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