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1.  Clinicopathologic study of intestinal spirochetosis in Japan with special reference to human immunodeficiency virus infection status and species types: analysis of 5265 consecutive colorectal biopsies 
Previous studies reported that the incidence of intestinal spirochetosis was high in homosexual men, especially those with Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection. The aim of the present study was to clarify the clinicopathological features of intestinal spirochetosis in Japan with special reference to Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection status and species types.
A pathology database search for intestinal spirochetosis was performed at Tokyo Metropolitan Cancer and Infectious Disease Center Komagome Hospital between January 2008 and October 2011, and included 5265 consecutive colorectal biopsies from 4254 patients. After patient identification, a retrospective review of endoscopic records and clinical information was performed. All pathology slides were reviewed by two pathologists. The length of the spirochetes was measured using a digital microscope. Causative species were identified by polymerase chain reaction.
Intestinal spirochetosis was diagnosed in 3 out of 55 Human Immunodeficiency Virus-positive patients (5.5%). The mean length of intestinal spirochetes was 8.5 μm (range 7–11). Brachyspira pilosicoli was detected by polymerase chain reaction in all 3 patients. Intestinal spirochetosis was also diagnosed in 73 out of 4199 Human Immunodeficiency Virus-negative patients (1.7%). The mean length of intestinal spirochetes was 3.5 μm (range 2–8). The species of intestinal spirochetosis was identified by polymerase chain reaction in 31 Human Immunodeficiency Virus-negative patients. Brachyspira aalborgi was detected in 24 cases (78%) and Brachyspira pilosicoli in 6 cases (19%). Both Brachyspira aalborgi and Brachyspira pilosicoli were detected in only one Human Immunodeficiency Virus-negative patient (3%). The mean length of Brachyspira aalborgi was 3.8 μm, while that of Brachyspira pilosicoli was 5.5 μm. The length of Brachyspira pilosicoli was significantly longer than that of Brachyspira aalborgi (p < 0.01). The lengths of intestinal spirochetes were significantly longer in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-positive patients than in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-negative patients (p < 0.05).
The incidence of intestinal spirochetosis was slightly higher in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-positive patients than in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-negative patients. However, no relationship was found between the Human Immunodeficiency Virus status and intestinal spirochetosis in Japan. Brachyspira pilosicoli infection may be more common in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-positive patients with intestinal spirochetosis than in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-negative patients with intestinal spirochetosis.
PMCID: PMC4300994  PMID: 25582884
Intestinal spirochetosis; Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection; Colorectal biopsies; Brachispira pilosicoli; Brachyspira aalborgi
2.  Diagnostic Examination of Human Intestinal Spirochetosis by Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization for Brachyspira aalborgi, Brachyspira pilosicoli, and Other Species of the Genus Brachyspira (Serpulina) 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2001;39(11):4111-4118.
Human intestinal spirochetosis, characterized by end-on attachment of densely packed spirochetes to the epithelial surface of the large intestines as a fringe has been associated with the weakly beta-hemolytic spirochetes Brachyspira aalborgi and Brachyspira (Serpulina) pilosicoli. In this study, fluorescent in situ hybridization with oligonucleotide probes targeting 16S or 23S rRNA of B. aalborgi, B. pilosicoli, and the genus Brachyspira was applied to 40 sections of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded intestinal biopsy specimens from 23 Danish and 15 Norwegian patients with histologic evidence of intestinal spirochetosis. Five biopsy specimens from patients without intestinal spirochetosis and three samples from pigs with experimental B. pilosicoli colitis were examined as well. In addition, the 16S ribosomal DNAs of two clinical isolates of B. aalborgi were sequenced, and a PCR procedure was developed for the identification of B. aalborgi in cultures. The genotypic characteristics of the two clinical isolates showed very high (99.5%) similarity with two existing isolates, the type strain of B. aalborgi and a Swedish isolate. Hybridization with the Brachyspira genus-specific probe revealed a brightly fluorescing fringe of spirochetes on the epithelia of 39 biopsy specimens, whereas 1 biopsy specimen was hybridization negative. The spirochetes in biopsy specimens from 13 Danish and 8 Norwegian patients (55.3%) were identified as B. aalborgi. The spirochetes in the biopsy specimens from the other 17 patients hybridized only with the Brachyspira probe, possibly demonstrating the involvement of as-yet-uncharacterized Brachyspira spirochetes in human intestinal spirochetosis.
PMCID: PMC88495  PMID: 11682538
3.  Large, segmental, circular vascular malformation of the small intestine (in a female toddler with hematochezia): unusual presentation in a child 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:55.
Failure to thrive and hematochezia in children may be alarm signs warranting endoscopy. In contrast, vascular malformations of the small intestine are uncommon in this age group. We report on a female toddler in whom various imaging techniques revealed an unusually large segmental vascular malformation of the ileum as the cause of the child’s main clinical symptoms.
Case presentation
A 19 months old girl presented with severe anemia (Hb 3 mmol/l), failure to thrive and chronic diarrhea. Diagnostics for intestinal blood loss and pathogens were negative. The child had duodenoscopy, also for histological diagnosis of celiac disease, with negative results. A dietary protocol was suggestive for inadequate iron intake and she was supplemented. After symptomless four-months the child presented again, now with mild abdominal pain and, for the first time, hematochezia. An orienting abdominal ultrasound (US) study showed a suspicious tumorous bowel condition. A subsequent detailed abdominal US supplemented by a saline enema during investigation (i.e., “hydrocolon”, to improve outlining of the formation’s localization) revealed a large circumferential cystiform vascular mass of the ileum causing segmental ileal obstruction.
Complementing preoperative abdominal hydro-MRI, planned based on the findings of the US study, confirmed the suspected vascular malformation of the ileum and exquisitely outlined the extent, location and anatomy.
The patient was successfully operated laparoscopically, the affected ileum segment with the mass was completely removed as proven by histology, and the child recovered well.
The huge segmental vascular malformation of the distal ileum described here is an extreme rarity in young children. Although the reported child’s presenting symptoms malabsorption and malnutrition could have been responsible for its severe anemia, this was obviously caused by blood losses from the ileal vascular malformation. It was due to incipient abdominal pain rather than hematochezia that abdominal US was performed and proved crucial for correctly diagnosing this rare malformation. Even in this extensive case detailed imaging work-up including adapted MRI added all information necessary for minimal invasive laparoscopic en bloc resection.
PMCID: PMC3938034  PMID: 24571577
Abdominal mass; Bowel obstruction; Gastrointestinal bleeding; Children (Child; Pediatric)
4.  Brachyspira aalborgi Infection Diagnosed by Culture and 16S Ribosomal DNA Sequencing Using Human Colonic Biopsy Specimens 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2000;38(10):3555-3560.
In this study we report on the isolation and characterization of the intestinal spirochete Brachyspira aalborgi using human mucosal biopsy specimens taken from the colon of a young adult male with intestinal spirochetosis. A selective medium, containing 400 μg of spectinomycin/ml and 5 μg of polymyxin/ml was used for the isolation procedure. A high degree of similarity, in terms of phenotypic properties and 16S ribosomal DNA sequence, was observed between the isolated strain, named W1, and the type strain, 513A, of B. aalborgi. A similarity of 99.7% in the nucleotide sequence was found between W1 and 513AT, based on the almost-complete gene. A short segment of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified by PCR using genetic material enriched from paraffin-embedded biopsy specimens, which were taken from the patient on two occasions. The products showed 16S rRNA gene sequences virtually identical to that of strain 513AT in the actual region. Immunohistochemistry was performed on the colonic biopsy specimens with a polyclonal antibody raised against an intestinal spirochete isolated in a previous case of human intestinal spirochetosis. The antibody reacted strongly with the spirochete on the luminal epithelium. No immune reaction was seen within or below the surface epithelium. Routine histology did not reveal signs of colitis. Electron microscopy showed spirochetes attached end-on to the colonic mucosal surface. The isolate grew poorly on a commonly used selective medium for intestinal spirochetes, which may explain previous failures to isolate B. aalborgi.
PMCID: PMC87436  PMID: 11015363
5.  Human intestinal spirochetosis – a review 
Human intestinal spirochetosis (IS) is a condition defined histologically by the presence of spirochetal microorganisms attached to the apical cell membrane of the colorectal epithelium. Intestinal spirochetes comprise a heterogeneous group of bacteria. In humans, Brachyspira aalborgi and Brachyspira pilosicoli predominate. Prevalence rates of IS are low where living standards are high, in contrast to poorly developed areas where IS is common. Homosexuals and HIV-infected individuals are at high risk of being colonized. Clinical significance in individual cases has remained unclear up to now. A review of the literature assumes that invasion of spirochetes beyond the surface epithelium may be associated with gastrointestinal symptoms which respond to antibiotic treatment (metronidazole), whereas individuals lacking this feature may be mostly asymptomatic. Of unknown reason, homosexual and HIV-positive men as well as children are more likely to be symptomatic irrespective of invasion. Rare cases of spirochetemia and multiple organ failure have been reported in critically ill patients with IS.
PMCID: PMC2830567  PMID: 20200654
human intestinal spirochetosis; microscopic colitis; commensals; intestinal bacterial invasion; HIV-infection; spirochetemia
6.  Bloodstream Infection Due to Brachyspira pilosicoli in a Patient with Multiorgan Failure▿ 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(10):3697-3699.
Brachyspira pilosicoli is an etiological agent of human intestinal spirochetosis. Bloodstream infection due to this microorganism is rare. We report a case of B. pilosicoli bacteremia in a 70-year-old patient who presented with multiorgan failure.
PMCID: PMC3187341  PMID: 21832021
7.  A bleeding colonic ulcer from invasive Aspergillus infection in an immunocompromised patient: a case report 
Invasive Aspergillus commonly involves the lungs, but can also affect other organs such as the skin, adrenal glands, central nervous system, liver, spleen and the gastrointestinal tract. Gastrointestinal aspergillosis is rare and is most often discovered in immunocompromised patients. There is only one other case report to our knowledge that describes the diagnosis being discovered on histopathological analysis of endoscopic biopsies of necrotic ulcers.
Case presentation
A 36-year-old Hispanic woman presented with septic shock secondary to extensive Fournier gangrene that required multiple surgical debridement of the perineal and retroperitoneal area. Her vital signs on admission were a temperature of 39.4°C and blood pressure of 85/56mmHg, pulse rate of 108/min and respiratory rate of 25. An examination of the perineum/genital area revealed bilateral gluteal and perilabial edema, erythema and focal areas of necrotic tissue with purulent discharge. Other surgeries included small bowel resections with ileoileal anastomosis that later developed an anastomotic leak that required and diverting end ileostomy. Eleven weeks after admission, our patient developed hematochezia from the colostomy associated with a decrease in hemoglobin and hematocrit to 6.4g/dL and 20.2% respectively. Colonoscopy through the ostomy revealed blood throughout the colon and a 3cm necrotic ulcer with an adherent clot in the transverse colon. Biopsies were taken from the edge of the ulcer. Histopathological analysis of the specimen with Grocott’s methenamine silver stain revealed septated hyphae with the 45-degree-angle branching that is morphologically consistent with Aspergillus species. Our patient was treated with intravenous voriconazole for 30 days with a prolonged hospitalization but no recurrent bleeding.
Gastrointestinal aspergillosis is an unusual presentation of invasive Aspergillus associated with a high mortality rate. Characteristic features of gastrointestinal aspergillosis include invasion of the mesenteric arteries, intravascular thrombosis and subsequent tissue ischemia. Clinical manifestations of invasive Aspergillus of the gastrointestinal tract can include fever, abdominal pain, ileus, peritonitis, bloody diarrhea or hematochezia. In an autopsy series of patients with invasive Aspergillus, 37 of 107 patients had Aspergillus involvement of the gastrointestinal system; the most common pathological findings included ulcers and abscesses. Although rare, invasive aspergillosis may present with gastrointestinal bleeding associated with necrotic ulcers on endoscopic examination.
PMCID: PMC4289056  PMID: 25476874
Invasive Aspergillus; Aspergillosis; Gastrointestinal bleeding; Immunosuppression
8.  Specimens from Biopsies of Colorectal Polyps Often Harbor Additional Diagnoses 
Objectives. The utility of examining specimens from colorectal biopsies of polyps for nonneoplastic diseases is currently unknown. Our objectives were to characterize such additional diagnoses that could be rendered. Methods. We retrospectively and prospectively reviewed specimens from endoscopic biopsies of colorectal polyps obtained during routine screening or surveillance. Results. 17 of 168 specimens (10.1%) contained additional diagnoses, including schistosomiasis, eosinophilic colitis, intestinal spirochetosis, melanosis coli, and other entities. These findings were easily overlooked because they often affected mucosa that was spared by the polyps or were often evident only at high magnification. Schistosomiasis, eosinophilic colitis, and intestinal spirochetosis were clinically occult. Conclusions. Specimens from biopsies of colorectal polyps often harbor other diagnoses, in addition to polyps, and can be simultaneously screened for polyps and examined for nonneoplastic diseases. Detection of other diagnoses in addition to polyps requires awareness, examination at high magnification, and examination of areas spared by the polyps.
PMCID: PMC3886612  PMID: 24455417
9.  Human intestinal spirochetes are distinct from Serpulina hyodysenteriae. 
Twenty-nine intestinal spirochetes isolated from Australian aboriginal children and six strains from Italian adults (HRM1, -2, -4, -5, -7, and -14) were genetically examined at 15 enzyme loci by using multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. Results were compared with those previously obtained for 188 porcine intestinal spirochetes. DNA from human strain HRM7 and porcine strain Serpulina hyodysenteriae P18A were also radioactively labeled and hybridized with DNA from 12 other human and porcine intestinal spirochetes. Both the multilocus enzyme electrophoresis and hybridization techniques demonstrated that the human spirochetes were not S. hyodysenteriae. They belonged to another distinct genetic group of spirochetes that included P43/6/78, the bacterium recovered from the first recorded case of porcine intestinal spirochetosis. Bacteria in this distinct group also differed from Serpulina spp. in possessing only four, five, or occasionally six axial filaments, being slightly thinner, and having more pointed ends. These findings add further weight to the possibility that human intestinal spirochetes may act as enteric pathogens.
PMCID: PMC262613  PMID: 8417025
10.  Clinical Utility of Serologic Testing for Celiac Disease in Ontario 
Executive Summary
Objective of Analysis
The objective of this evidence-based evaluation is to assess the accuracy of serologic tests in the diagnosis of celiac disease in subjects with symptoms consistent with this disease. Furthermore the impact of these tests in the diagnostic pathway of the disease and decision making was also evaluated.
Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that develops in genetically predisposed individuals. The immunological response is triggered by ingestion of gluten, a protein that is present in wheat, rye, and barley. The treatment consists of strict lifelong adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD).
Patients with celiac disease may present with a myriad of symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, iron deficiency anemia, dermatitis herpetiformis, among others.
Serologic Testing in the Diagnosis Celiac Disease
There are a number of serologic tests used in the diagnosis of celiac disease.
Anti-gliadin antibody (AGA)
Anti-endomysial antibody (EMA)
Anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody (tTG)
Anti-deamidated gliadin peptides antibodies (DGP)
Serologic tests are automated with the exception of the EMA test, which is more time-consuming and operator-dependent than the other tests. For each serologic test, both immunoglobulin A (IgA) or G (IgG) can be measured, however, IgA measurement is the standard antibody measured in celiac disease.
Diagnosis of Celiac Disease
According to celiac disease guidelines, the diagnosis of celiac disease is established by small bowel biopsy. Serologic tests are used to initially detect and to support the diagnosis of celiac disease. A small bowel biopsy is indicated in individuals with a positive serologic test. In some cases an endoscopy and small bowel biopsy may be required even with a negative serologic test. The diagnosis of celiac disease must be performed on a gluten-containing diet since the small intestine abnormalities and the serologic antibody levels may resolve or improve on a GFD.
Since IgA measurement is the standard for the serologic celiac disease tests, false negatives may occur in IgA-deficient individuals.
Incidence and Prevalence of Celiac Disease
The incidence and prevalence of celiac disease in the general population and in subjects with symptoms consistent with or at higher risk of celiac disease based on systematic reviews published in 2004 and 2009 are summarized below.
Incidence of Celiac Disease in the General Population
Adults or mixed population: 1 to 17/100,000/year
Children: 2 to 51/100,000/year
In one of the studies, a stratified analysis showed that there was a higher incidence of celiac disease in younger children compared to older children, i.e., 51 cases/100,000/year in 0 to 2 year-olds, 33/100,000/year in 2 to 5 year-olds, and 10/100,000/year in children 5 to 15 years old.
Prevalence of Celiac Disease in the General Population
The prevalence of celiac disease reported in population-based studies identified in the 2004 systematic review varied between 0.14% and 1.87% (median: 0.47%, interquartile range: 0.25%, 0.71%). According to the authors of the review, the prevalence did not vary by age group, i.e., adults and children.
Prevalence of Celiac Disease in High Risk Subjects
Type 1 diabetes (adults and children): 1 to 11%
Autoimmune thyroid disease: 2.9 to 3.3%
First degree relatives of patients with celiac disease: 2 to 20%
Prevalence of Celiac Disease in Subjects with Symptoms Consistent with the Disease
The prevalence of celiac disease in subjects with symptoms consistent with the disease varied widely among studies, i.e., 1.5% to 50% in adult studies, and 1.1% to 17% in pediatric studies. Differences in prevalence may be related to the referral pattern as the authors of a systematic review noted that the prevalence tended to be higher in studies whose population originated from tertiary referral centres compared to general practice.
Research Questions
What is the sensitivity and specificity of serologic tests in the diagnosis celiac disease?
What is the clinical validity of serologic tests in the diagnosis of celiac disease? The clinical validity was defined as the ability of the test to change diagnosis.
What is the clinical utility of serologic tests in the diagnosis of celiac disease? The clinical utility was defined as the impact of the test on decision making.
What is the budget impact of serologic tests in the diagnosis of celiac disease?
What is the cost-effectiveness of serologic tests in the diagnosis of celiac disease?
Literature Search
A literature search was performed on November 13th, 2009 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1st 2003 and November 13th 2010. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. Articles with unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist, then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established. The quality of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low or very low according to GRADE methodology.
Studies that evaluated diagnostic accuracy, i.e., both sensitivity and specificity of serology tests in the diagnosis of celiac disease.
Study population consisted of untreated patients with symptoms consistent with celiac disease.
Studies in which both serologic celiac disease tests and small bowel biopsy (gold standard) were used in all subjects.
Systematic reviews, meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials, prospective observational studies, and retrospective cohort studies.
At least 20 subjects included in the celiac disease group.
English language.
Human studies.
Studies published from 2000 on.
Clearly defined cut-off value for the serology test. If more than one test was evaluated, only those tests for which a cut-off was provided were included.
Description of small bowel biopsy procedure clearly outlined (location, number of biopsies per patient), unless if specified that celiac disease diagnosis guidelines were followed.
Patients in the treatment group had untreated CD.
Studies on screening of the general asymptomatic population.
Studies that evaluated rapid diagnostic kits for use either at home or in physician’s offices.
Studies that evaluated diagnostic modalities other than serologic tests such as capsule endoscopy, push enteroscopy, or genetic testing.
Cut-off for serologic tests defined based on controls included in the study.
Study population defined based on positive serology or subjects pre-screened by serology tests.
Celiac disease status known before study enrolment.
Sensitivity or specificity estimates based on repeated testing for the same subject.
Non-peer-reviewed literature such as editorials and letters to the editor.
The population consisted of adults and children with untreated, undiagnosed celiac disease with symptoms consistent with the disease.
Serologic Celiac Disease Tests Evaluated
Anti-gliadin antibody (AGA)
Anti-endomysial antibody (EMA)
Anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody (tTG)
Anti-deamidated gliadin peptides antibody (DGP)
Combinations of some of the serologic tests listed above were evaluated in some studies
Both IgA and IgG antibodies were evaluated for the serologic tests listed above.
Outcomes of Interest
Positive and negative likelihood ratios
Diagnostic odds ratio (OR)
Area under the sROC curve (AUC)
Small bowel biopsy was used as the gold standard in order to estimate the sensitivity and specificity of each serologic test.
Statistical Analysis
Pooled estimates of sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic odds ratios (DORs) for the different serologic tests were calculated using a bivariate, binomial generalized linear mixed model. Statistical significance for differences in sensitivity and specificity between serologic tests was defined by P values less than 0.05, where “false discovery rate” adjustments were made for multiple hypothesis testing. The bivariate regression analyses were performed using SAS version 9.2 (SAS Institute Inc.; Cary, NC, USA). Using the bivariate model parameters, summary receiver operating characteristic (sROC) curves were produced using Review Manager 5.0.22 (The Nordiac Cochrane Centre, The Cochrane Collaboration, 2008). The area under the sROC curve (AUC) was estimated by bivariate mixed-efects binary regression modeling framework. Model specification, estimation and prediction are carried out with xtmelogit in Stata release 10 (Statacorp, 2007). Statistical tests for the differences in AUC estimates could not be carried out.
The study results were stratified according to patient or disease characteristics such as age, severity of Marsh grade abnormalities, among others, if reported in the studies. The literature indicates that the diagnostic accuracy of serologic tests for celiac disease may be affected in patients with chronic liver disease, therefore, the studies identified through the systematic literature review that evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of serologic tests for celiac disease in patients with chronic liver disease were summarized. The effect of the GFD in patiens diagnosed with celiac disease was also summarized if reported in the studies eligible for the analysis.
Summary of Findings
Published Systematic Reviews
Five systematic reviews of studies that evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of serologic celiac disease tests were identified through our literature search. Seventeen individual studies identified in adults and children were eligible for this evaluation.
In general, the studies included evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of at least one serologic test in subjects with symptoms consistent with celiac disease. The gold standard used to confirm the celiac disease diagnosis was small bowel biopsy. Serologic tests evaluated included tTG, EMA, AGA, and DGP, using either IgA or IgG antibodies. Indirect immunoflurorescence was used for the EMA serologic tests whereas enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used for the other serologic tests.
Common symptoms described in the studies were chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, unexplained weight loss, unexplained anemia, and dermatitis herpetiformis.
The main conclusions of the published systematic reviews are summarized below.
IgA tTG and/or IgA EMA have a high accuracy (pooled sensitivity: 90% to 98%, pooled specificity: 95% to 99% depending on the pooled analysis).
Most reviews found that AGA (IgA or IgG) are not as accurate as IgA tTG and/or EMA tests.
A 2009 systematic review concluded that DGP (IgA or IgG) seems to have a similar accuracy compared to tTG, however, since only 2 studies identified evaluated its accuracy, the authors believe that additional data is required to draw firm conclusions.
Two systematic reviews also concluded that combining two serologic celiac disease tests has little contribution to the accuracy of the diagnosis.
MAS Analysis
The pooled analysis performed by MAS showed that IgA tTG has a sensitivity of 92.1% [95% confidence interval (CI) 88.0, 96.3], compared to 89.2% (83.3, 95.1, p=0.12) for IgA DGP, 85.1% (79.5, 94.4, p=0.07) for IgA EMA, and 74.9% (63.6, 86.2, p=0.0003) for IgA AGA. Among the IgG-based tests, the results suggest that IgG DGP has a sensitivity of 88.4% (95% CI: 82.1, 94.6), 44.7% (30.3, 59.2) for tTG, and 69.1% (56.0, 82.2) for AGA. The difference was significant when IgG DGP was compared to IgG tTG but not IgG AGA. Combining serologic celiac disease tests yielded a slightly higher sensitivity compared to individual IgA-based serologic tests.
IgA deficiency
The prevalence of total or severe IgA deficiency was low in the studies identified varying between 0 and 1.7% as reported in 3 studies in which IgA deficiency was not used as a referral indication for celiac disease serologic testing. The results of IgG-based serologic tests were positive in all patients with IgA deficiency in which celiac disease was confirmed by small bowel biopsy as reported in four studies.
The MAS pooled analysis indicates a high specificity across the different serologic tests including the combination strategy, pooled estimates ranged from 90.1% to 98.7% depending on the test.
Likelihood Ratios
According to the likelihood ratio estimates, both IgA tTG and serologic test combinationa were considered very useful tests (positive likelihood ratio above ten and the negative likelihood ratio below 0.1).
Moderately useful tests included IgA EMA, IgA DGP, and IgG DGP (positive likelihood ratio between five and ten and the negative likelihood ratio between 0.1 and 0.2).
Somewhat useful tests: IgA AGA, IgG AGA, generating small but sometimes important changes from pre- to post-test probability (positive LR between 2 and 5 and negative LR between 0.2 and 0.5)
Not Useful: IgG tTG, altering pre- to post-test probability to a small and rarely important degree (positive LR between 1 and 2 and negative LR between 0.5 and 1).
Diagnostic Odds Ratios (DOR)
Among the individual serologic tests, IgA tTG had the highest DOR, 136.5 (95% CI: 51.9, 221.2). The statistical significance of the difference in DORs among tests was not calculated, however, considering the wide confidence intervals obtained, the differences may not be statistically significant.
Area Under the sROC Curve (AUC)
The sROC AUCs obtained ranged between 0.93 and 0.99 for most IgA-based tests with the exception of IgA AGA, with an AUC of 0.89.
Sensitivity and Specificity of Serologic Tests According to Age Groups
Serologic test accuracy did not seem to vary according to age (adults or children).
Sensitivity and Specificity of Serologic Tests According to Marsh Criteria
Four studies observed a trend towards a higher sensitivity of serologic celiac disease tests when Marsh 3c grade abnormalities were found in the small bowel biopsy compared to Marsh 3a or 3b (statistical significance not reported). The sensitivity of serologic tests was much lower when Marsh 1 grade abnormalities were found in small bowel biopsy compared to Marsh 3 grade abnormalities. The statistical significance of these findings were not reported in the studies.
Diagnostic Accuracy of Serologic Celiac Disease Tests in Subjects with Chronic Liver Disease
A total of 14 observational studies that evaluated the specificity of serologic celiac disease tests in subjects with chronic liver disease were identified. All studies evaluated the frequency of false positive results (1-specificity) of IgA tTG, however, IgA tTG test kits using different substrates were used, i.e., human recombinant, human, and guinea-pig substrates. The gold standard, small bowel biopsy, was used to confirm the result of the serologic tests in only 5 studies. The studies do not seem to have been designed or powered to compare the diagnostic accuracy among different serologic celiac disease tests.
The results of the studies identified in the systematic literature review suggest that there is a trend towards a lower frequency of false positive results if the IgA tTG test using human recombinant substrate is used compared to the guinea pig substrate in subjects with chronic liver disease. However, the statistical significance of the difference was not reported in the studies. When IgA tTG with human recombinant substrate was used, the number of false positives seems to be similar to what was estimated in the MAS pooled analysis for IgA-based serologic tests in a general population of patients. These results should be interpreted with caution since most studies did not use the gold standard, small bowel biopsy, to confirm or exclude the diagnosis of celiac disease, and since the studies were not designed to compare the diagnostic accuracy among different serologic tests. The sensitivity of the different serologic tests in patients with chronic liver disease was not evaluated in the studies identified.
Effects of a Gluten-Free Diet (GFD) in Patients Diagnosed with Celiac Disease
Six studies identified evaluated the effects of GFD on clinical, histological, or serologic improvement in patients diagnosed with celiac disease. Improvement was observed in 51% to 95% of the patients included in the studies.
Grading of Evidence
Overall, the quality of the evidence ranged from moderate to very low depending on the serologic celiac disease test. Reasons to downgrade the quality of the evidence included the use of a surrogate endpoint (diagnostic accuracy) since none of the studies evaluated clinical outcomes, inconsistencies among study results, imprecise estimates, and sparse data. The quality of the evidence was considered moderate for IgA tTg and IgA EMA, low for IgA DGP, and serologic test combinations, and very low for IgA AGA.
Clinical Validity and Clinical Utility of Serologic Testing in the Diagnosis of Celiac Disease
The clinical validity of serologic tests in the diagnosis of celiac disease was considered high in subjects with symptoms consistent with this disease due to
High accuracy of some serologic tests.
Serologic tests detect possible celiac disease cases and avoid unnecessary small bowel biopsy if the test result is negative, unless an endoscopy/ small bowel biopsy is necessary due to the clinical presentation.
Serologic tests support the results of small bowel biopsy.
The clinical utility of serologic tests for the diagnosis of celiac disease, as defined by its impact in decision making was also considered high in subjects with symptoms consistent with this disease given the considerations listed above and since celiac disease diagnosis leads to treatment with a gluten-free diet.
Economic Analysis
A decision analysis was constructed to compare costs and outcomes between the tests based on the sensitivity, specificity and prevalence summary estimates from the MAS Evidence-Based Analysis (EBA). A budget impact was then calculated by multiplying the expected costs and volumes in Ontario. The outcome of the analysis was expected costs and false negatives (FN). Costs were reported in 2010 CAD$. All analyses were performed using TreeAge Pro Suite 2009.
Four strategies made up the efficiency frontier; IgG tTG, IgA tTG, EMA and small bowel biopsy. All other strategies were dominated. IgG tTG was the least costly and least effective strategy ($178.95, FN avoided=0). Small bowel biopsy was the most costly and most effective strategy ($396.60, FN avoided =0.1553). The cost per FN avoided were $293, $369, $1,401 for EMA, IgATTG and small bowel biopsy respectively. One-way sensitivity analyses did not change the ranking of strategies.
All testing strategies with small bowel biopsy are cheaper than biopsy alone however they also result in more FNs. The most cost-effective strategy will depend on the decision makers’ willingness to pay. Findings suggest that IgA tTG was the most cost-effective and feasible strategy based on its Incremental Cost-Effectiveness Ratio (ICER) and convenience to conduct the test. The potential impact of IgA tTG test in the province of Ontario would be $10.4M, $11.0M and $11.7M respectively in the following three years based on past volumes and trends in the province and basecase expected costs.
The panel of tests is the commonly used strategy in the province of Ontario therefore the impact to the system would be $13.6M, $14.5M and $15.3M respectively in the next three years based on past volumes and trends in the province and basecase expected costs.
The clinical validity and clinical utility of serologic tests for celiac disease was considered high in subjects with symptoms consistent with this disease as they aid in the diagnosis of celiac disease and some tests present a high accuracy.
The study findings suggest that IgA tTG is the most accurate and the most cost-effective test.
AGA test (IgA) has a lower accuracy compared to other IgA-based tests
Serologic test combinations appear to be more costly with little gain in accuracy. In addition there may be problems with generalizability of the results of the studies included in this review if different test combinations are used in clinical practice.
IgA deficiency seems to be uncommon in patients diagnosed with celiac disease.
The generalizability of study results is contingent on performing both the serologic test and small bowel biopsy in subjects on a gluten-containing diet as was the case in the studies identified, since the avoidance of gluten may affect test results.
PMCID: PMC3377499  PMID: 23074399
11.  Rapid and Accurate Diagnosis of Human Intestinal Spirochetosis by Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(5):1393-1401.
Human intestinal spirochetosis (HIS) is associated with overgrowth of the large intestine by spirochetes of the genus Brachyspira. The microbiological diagnosis of HIS is hampered by the fastidious nature and slow growth of Brachyspira spp. In clinical practice, HIS is diagnosed histopathologically, and a significant portion of cases may be missed. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is a molecular method that allows the visualization and identification of single bacteria within tissue sections. In this study, we analyzed intestinal biopsy samples from five patients with possible HIS. All specimens yielded positive results by histopathological techniques. PCR amplification and sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene were performed. Sequences of two isolates clustered in the group of Brachyspira aalborgi, whereas in three cases, the sequences were highly similar to that of Brachyspira pilosicoli. Three phylotypes showed mismatches at distinct nucleotide positions with Brachyspira sp. sequences published previously. In addition, culture for Brachyspira was successful in three cases. On the basis of these data, we designed and evaluated a Brachyspira genus-specific 16S rRNA-directed FISH probe that detects all of the Brachyspira spp. published to date. FISH of biopsy samples resulted in strong, unequivocal signals of brush-like formations at the crypt surfaces. This technique allowed simultaneous visualization of single spirochetes and their identification as Brachyspira spp. In conclusion, FISH provides a fast and accurate technique for the visualization and identification of intestinal spirochetes in tissue sections. It therefore represents a valuable tool for routine diagnosis of HIS.
PMCID: PMC2681872  PMID: 19279178
12.  An Unusual Presentation of Childhood Vasculitis Presenting in Adulthood: A Challenging Diagnosis of Henoch-Schönlein Purpura 
Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP), a systemic IgA vascultitis, is uncommon in adults, with an incidence rate of 0.1 to 1.2 per million in adults over 20 years old. This vasculitic syndrome can present as an uncommon cause of intestinal obstruction in older patients. We report a case of an older woman with HSP presenting with small bowel obstruction and vasculitic rash.
Case Report:
We report a 67-year-old woman who presented with small bowel obstruction and skin rash. Skin biopsy revealed leukocytoclastic vasculitis with +IgA granular deposition within the walls of superficial dermal vessels. Kidney biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of HSP with mild mesangial proliferative IgA nephropathy. Her abdominal pain and small bowel obstruction were improved with conservative treatment. She continued to do well with normal kidney function at a 3-month follow-up visit.
HSP, a systemic IgA vasculitis, is a predominantly pediatric vasculitis and is uncommon in adults. In adults, the disease process is identical to that in children. However, gastrointestinal manifestation is less common in older patients, and bowel perforation and obstruction are rare. Intestinal obstruction with skin rash and renal involvement should raise suspicions of HSP.
PMCID: PMC4215494  PMID: 25489569
Henoch-Schönlein purpura; Intestinal obstruction; Vasculitis
13.  Brachyspira pilosicoli bloodstream infections: Case report and review of the literature 
Brachyspira pilosicoli is the etiologic agent of human and animal intestinal spirochetosis and is rarely implicated as a cause of bacteremia. Here, we describe the case of a B. pilosicoli spirochetemia in a 53-year-old male patient suffering from cardiogenic shock. This fastidious bacterium was isolated from blood, likely after translocation from the intestinal tract. Blood cultures were positive after 5 days of incubation (one day after the patient's death), highlighting the problem of the recovery of such type of fastidious bacterium. Identification was achieved by molecular methods (16S rRNA sequencing). A review of the English literature found only 8 cases of bacteremia caused by B. pilosicoli, mostly in immunocompromised or critically ill patients. Finally, difficulties in rapid and accurate diagnosis of B. pilosicoli bloodstream infections, in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility of human clinical isolates, and therapeutic options are discussed.
PMCID: PMC2561035  PMID: 18817558
14.  Intestinal spirochetosis presenting as acute appendicitis 
Acute appendicitis is a frequent pathology encountered by general surgeons. On the differential of aetiologies that can lead to this diagnosis lies the spectrum of infectious disease. We present a case report of a patient who presented to our institution as a classic acute appendicitis. Upon histological analysis it became evident that he had spirochetosis of the cecum and appendix. This paper reviews the literature on this rare infectious aetiology. A synopsis of the microbiology, epidemiology, clinical manifestations and treatments for intestinal spirochetosis is described. At large, the aim of this paper is to heighten awareness of this disease amongst clinicians and specifically surgeons.
PMCID: PMC3649506  PMID: 24960810
15.  Intestinal tuberculosis in a child living in a country with a low incidence of tuberculosis: a case report 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7(1):762.
Relatively common in adults, intestinal tuberculosis is considered rare in children and adolescents. The protean manifestations of intestinal tuberculosis mean that the diagnosis is often delayed (sometimes even for years), thus leading to increased mortality and unnecessary surgery. The main diagnostic dilemma is to differentiate intestinal tuberculosis and Crohn’s disease because a misdiagnosis can have dramatic consequences.
Case presentation
A 13-year-old Caucasian, Italian female adolescent attended the Emergency Department complaining of abdominal pain, a fever of up to 38°C, night sweats, diarrhea with blood in stool, and a weight loss of about three kilograms over the previous two months. Physical examination revealed a marked skin pallor and considerable abdominal distension with relevant discomfort in all the abdominal quadrant. Laboratory tests revealed a decreased white blood cell count with anemia and increased C-reactive protein levels. The Mantoux tuberculin skin test was negative. A chest X-ray and an abdominal ultrasonography did not reveal any significant findings. The patient underwent colonoscopy that showed diffuse mucosal congestion and significant blood loss, and laparatomy showed small bowel and colon loops with a whitish appearance. A biopsy of the ileal mucosa revealed inflammation with noncaseating granulomas possibly due to bacterial infection. Given the suspicion of an opportunistic bacterial infection in a child with chronic inflammatory bowel disease (possibly Crohn’s disease), treatment with a third-generation cephalosporin was started. However, the abdominal pain, fever and poor general condition persisted and so, after 11 days, the patient underwent total body computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the brain. On the basis of the radiological findings, miliary tuberculosis was suspected and bronchoscopy was performed and resulted positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Miliary tuberculosis was confirmed and an effective treatment with four drugs was started.
This case shows that the manifestations of intestinal tuberculosis can be very difficult to diagnose and mimic those of Chron’s disease. Total body computed tomography and laparotomy with an intestinal biopsy for the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis are the means of avoid the risks of a misdiagnosis in children with unexplained chronic abdominal problems.
PMCID: PMC4219019  PMID: 25346193
Emerging infections; Gastrointestinal infections; Intestinal tuberculosis; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Tuberculosis
16.  Small Bowel Transplant 
The Medical Advisory Secretariat undertook a review of the evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of small bowel transplant in the treatment of intestinal failure.
Small Bowel Transplantation
Intestinal failure is the loss of absorptive capacity of the small intestine that results in an inability to meet the nutrient and fluid requirements of the body via the enteral route. Patients with intestinal failure usually receive nutrients intravenously, a procedure known as parenteral nutrition. However, long-term parenteral nutrition is associated with complications including liver failure and loss of venous access due to recurrent infections.
Small bowel transplant is the transplantation of a cadaveric intestinal allograft for the purpose of restoring intestinal function in patients with irreversible intestinal failure. The transplant may involve the small intestine alone (isolated small bowel ISB), the small intestine and the liver (SB-L) when there is irreversible liver failure, or multiple organs including the small bowel (multivisceral MV or cluster). Although living related donor transplant is being investigated at a limited number of centres, cadaveric donors have been used in most small bowel transplants.
The actual transplant procedure takes approximately 12-18 hours. After intestinal transplant, the patient is generally placed on prophylactic antibiotic medication and immunosuppressive regimen that, in the majority of cases, would include tacrolimus, corticosteroids and an induction agent. Close monitoring for infection and rejection are essential for early treatment.
Medical Advisory Secretariat Review
The Medical Advisory Secretariat undertook a review of 35 reports from 9 case series and 1 international registry. Sample size of the individual studies ranged from 9 to 155.
As of May 2001, 651 patients had received small bowel transplant procedures worldwide. According to information from the Canadian Organ Replacement Register, a total of 27 small bowel transplants were performed in Canada from 1988 to 2002.
Patient Outcomes
The experience in small bowel transplant is still limited. International data showed that during the last decade, patient survival and graft survival rates from SBT have improved, mainly because of improved immunosuppression therapy and earlier detection and treatment of infection and rejection. The Intestinal Transplant Registry reported 1-year actuarial patient survival rates of 69% for isolated small bowel transplant, 66% for small bowel-liver transplant, and 63% for multivisceral transplant, and a graft survival rate of 55% for ISB and 63% for SB-L and MV. The range of 1-year patient survival rates reported ranged from 33%-87%. Reported 1-year graft survival rates ranged from 46-71%.
Regression analysis performed by the International Transplant Registry in 1997 indicated that centres that have performed at least 10 small bowel transplants had better patient and graft survival rates than centres that performed less than 10 transplants. However, analysis of the data up to May 2001 suggests that the critical mass of 10 transplants no longer holds true for transplants after 1995, and that good results can be achieved at any multiorgan transplant program with moderate patient volumes.
The largest Centre reported an overall 1-year patient and graft survival rate of 72% and 64% respectively, and 5-year patient and graft survival of 48% and 40% respectively. The overall 1-year patient survival rate reported for Ontario pediatric small bowel transplants was 61% with the highest survival rate of 83% for ISB.
The majority (70% or higher) of surviving small bowel transplant recipients was able to wean from parenteral nutrition and meet all caloric needs enterally. Some may need enteral or parenteral supplementation during periods of illness. Growth and weight gain in children after ISB were reported by two studies while two other studies reported a decrease in growth velocity with no catch-up growth.
The quality of life after SBT was reported to be comparable to that of patients on home enteral nutrition. A study found that while the parents of pediatric SBT recipients reported significant limitations in the physical and psychological well being of the children compared with normal school children, the pediatric SBT recipients themselves reported a quality of life similar to other school children.
Survival was found to be better in transplants performed since 1991. Patient survival was associated with the type of organ transplanted with better survival in isolated small bowel recipients.
Adverse Events
Despite improvement in patient and graft survival rates, small bowel transplant is still associated with significant mortality and morbidity.
Infection with subsequent sepsis is the leading cause of death (51.3%). Bacterial, fungal and viral infections have all been reported. The most common viral infections are cytomegalorvirus (18-40%) and Epstein-Barr virus. The latter often led to ß-cell post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease.
Graft rejection is the second leading cause of death after SBT (10.4%) and is responsible for 57% of graft removal. Acute rejection rates ranged from 51% to 83% in the major programs. Most of the acute rejection episodes were mild and responded to steroids and OKT3. Antilymphocyte therapy was needed in up to 27% of patients. Isolated small bowel allograft and positive lymphocytotoxic cross-match were found to be risk factors for acute rejection.
Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease occurred in 21% of SBT recipients and accounted for 7% of post-transplant mortality. The frequency was higher in pediatric recipients (31%) and in adults receiving composite visceral allografts (25%). The allograft itself is often involved in post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease. The reported incidence of host versus graft disease varied widely among centers (0% - 14%).
Surgical complications were reported to occur in 85% of SB-L transplants and 25% of ISB transplants. Reoperations were required in 45% - 66% of patients in a large series and the most common reason for reoperation was intra-abdominal abscess.
The median cost of intestinal transplant in the US was reported to be approximately $275,000US (approximately CDN$429,000) per case. A US study concluded that based on the US cost of home parenteral nutrition, small bowel transplant could be cost-effective by the second year after the transplant.
There is evidence that small bowel transplant can prolong the life of some patients with irreversible intestinal failure who can no longer continue to be managed by parenteral nutrition therapy. Both patient survival and graft survival rates have improved with time. However, small bowel transplant is still associated with significant mortality and morbidity. The outcomes are inferior to those of total parenteral nutrition. Evidence suggests that this procedure should only be used when total parenteral nutrition is no longer feasible.
PMCID: PMC3387750  PMID: 23074441
17.  Wegener’s granulomatosis mimicking inflammatory bowel disease and presenting with chronic enteritis 
Wegener’s granulomatosis, also known as anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis, is a small vessel vasculitis with primarily pulmonary, renal, and sinus disease manifestations. The prevalence of Wegener’s granulomatosis is three cases per 100,000 patients. Cardiovascular, neurologic, cutaneous, and joint manifestations have been reported in many case reports and case series. Gastrointestinal manifestations are less noted in Wegener’s granulomatosis, although they have been previously reported in the form of intestinal perforation and intestinal ischemia. Additionally, there are characteristic findings of vasculitis that are noted with active Wegener’s granulomatosis of the small bowel. We report a case of an elderly patient who presented with weight loss, diarrhea, and hematochezia. His symptoms were chronic and had lasted for more than 1 year before diagnosis. Inflammatory bowel disease or chronic enteritis due to Salmonella arizonae because of reptile exposure originally were suspected as etiologies of his presentation. The findings of proteinuria, renal failure, and pauci-immune glomerulonephritis on renal biopsy, in conjunction with an elevated c-ANCA titer, confirmed the diagnosis of Wegener’s granulomatosis with associated intestinal vasculitis. This case demonstrates an atypical presentation of chronic duodenitis and jejunitis secondary to Wegener’s granulomatosis, which mimicked inflammatory bowel disease.
PMCID: PMC3794984  PMID: 24124396
ANCA-associated vasculitis; Wegener’s syndrome; pauci-immune glomerulonephritis; Salmonella arizonae; inflammatory bowel disease
18.  Response of the human intestine to high volume infusion. 
Gut  1994;35(5):641-645.
The motor patterns and luminal capacity of the human intestine should affect symptoms and resorption during pathological, massive small intestinal flow. Little is known of human intestinal motility in this situation. This study aimed at mimicking secretory diarrhoea (experimentally) in healthy volunteers by intrajejunal infusion of a non-absorbable iso-osmotic solution at 20 ml/min. During the infusion intraluminal jejunal pressures and small intestinal transit times were measured. The infusion initially caused jejunal contractile activity similar to that of the fed state but this was replaced by discrete clusters of contractions (DCCs) after 29.1 ((SEM) 8.2) minutes. DCCs each lasted 38 ((SEM) 0.8 seconds) and were associated with colicky abdominal discomfort. Later, after 1400-1800 ml had been infused, distal jejunal pressure waves fell to 10 mm Hg or less. Frequent fasting DCCs predicted earlier onset and more frequent DCCs during the infusion. Thus, the rate and volume of flow during simulated secretory diarrhoea determine the pattern of the small bowel pressure profile; eventually, a volume load is reached in which the small bowel acts as a poorly segmenting conduit resulting in very fast transit rates.
PMCID: PMC1374748  PMID: 8200557
19.  Age-Related Patterns in Clinical Presentations and Gluten-Related Issues Among Children and Adolescents With Celiac Disease 
Celiac disease (CD) is common and often cited as an “iceberg” phenomenon (i.e., an assumed large number of undiagnosed cases). Recently, atypical or asymptomatic manifestations are becoming more commonly described in older children and adolescents. Moreover, CD diagnosis in children can be complicated by several factors, including its diverse clinical presentations, delay in recognizing CD signs and symptoms, and premature dietary gluten avoidance before the formal diagnosis of CD. To date, few studies have directly examined age-related differences in clinical characteristics and gluten-related issues among children with CD. The aim of this study was to determine age-related patterns in clinical characteristics and gluten-related issues among children with confirmed CD.
We performed a structured medical record review of biopsy-proven CD patients, aged 0–19 years, between 2000 and 2010 at a large Boston teaching hospital. Data collection included demographics, medical history, gluten-related issues, and diagnostic investigations (CD-specific serology, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, and small intestinal biopsy). The first positive duodenal biopsy with Marsh III classification defined age of diagnosis. Patients were divided into three age groups for comparisons of the aforementioned characteristics: infant-preschool group (0–5 years), school-aged group (6–11 years), and adolescence group (12–19 years).
Among 411 children with biopsy-proven CD, the mean age was 9.5 (s.d. 5.1) years. Most were female (63%) and white (96%). All children had positive CD-specific serology. Most children presented with either abdominal complaints or bowel movement changes. Overall, boys were more common among infant-preschool group compared with the other age groups. More distinct clinical manifestations (vomiting, bowel movement changes, and weight issues) were apparent in the youngest group, whereas school-aged children had more subjective abdominal complaints at the initial presentation. Conversely, the adolescents were most likely to present without any gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, but not when this was combined with absence of weight issues. Age of diagnosis was not associated with atypical extraintestinal CD presentations. Regarding the gluten-related issues, 10% of school-aged children avoided dietary gluten before the formal CD diagnosis, and 27% of the adolescents reported dietary gluten transgression within the first 12 months of diagnosis, significantly higher than the other age groups. Age differences in histopathology were also found. Whereas the infant-preschool group had a higher proportion of total villous atrophy, the older children were more likely to have gross duodenal abnormalities and chronic duodenitis suggestive of CD at the time of diagnosis.
Children and adolescents with CD have age-related patterns in both the clinical presentations and gluten-related issues. More pronounced clinical and histological features were determined in younger children, whereas older children more commonly presented with solely subjective abdominal complaints or even without any GI symptoms. However, silent and atypical extraintestinal CD presentations were comparable between age groups. In addition to the aforementioned presentations, the higher rates of dietary gluten avoidance and transgression in older children make CD diagnosis and management particularly challenging. These age-related patterns may further increase awareness, facilitate early diagnosis, and improve patient care of pediatric CD.
PMCID: PMC3365672  PMID: 23238134
20.  Malignant colo-duodenal fistula; case report and review of the literature 
Colo-duodenal fistula is a rare complication of malignant and inflammatory bowel disease. Cases with malignant colo-duodenal fistulae can present with symptoms from the primary, from the fistula or from metastatic disease. The fistula often results in diarrhoea and vomiting with dramatic weight loss. Upper abdominal pain is usually present as is general malaise both from the presence of the disease and from the metabolic sequelae it causes. The diarrhoea relates to colonic bacterial contamination of the upper intestines rather than to a pure mechanical effect. Vomiting may be faeculant or truly faecal and eructation foul smelling but in the case reports this 'classic' symptomatology was often absent despite a fistula being present and patent enough to allow barium through it. Occasionally patients will present with a gastro-intestinal bleed.
Case presentation
We present an unusual case of colorectal carcinoma, where a 65 year old male patient presented with diarrhoea and vomiting secondary to a malignant colo-duodenal fistula near the hepatic flexure. Adenocarcinoma was confirmed on histology from a biopsy obtained during the patient's oesophageogastroduodenoscopy, and the fistula was demonstrated in his barium enema. Staging computed tomography showed a locally advanced carcinoma of the proximal transverse colon, with a fistula to the duodenum and regional lymphadenopathy. The patient was also found to have subcutaneous metastasis. Following discussions at the multidisciplinary meeting, this patient was referred for palliation, and died within 4 months after discharge from hospital.
We present the case, discuss the management and review the literature. Colo-duodenal fistulae from colonic primaries are rare but early diagnosis may allow curative surgery. This case emphasises the importance of accurate staging and repeated clinical examination.
PMCID: PMC1698919  PMID: 17147825
21.  Inflammatory bowel disease in children--clinical, endoscopic, radiologic and histopathologic investigation. 
This paper reviews our five years' clinical experience (1987 to 1991) of 22 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). There were 12 patients with Crohn's disease and 10 patients with ulcerative colitis. The mean age at diagnosis was 8.7 years (2 to 14 years). Clinical impressions before referral were chronic diarrhea in 11, irritable bowel syndrome in 5, colon polyp in 4, lymphoma in 3, intestinal tuberculosis in 2, amoebic colitis in 2, ulcerative colitis in 2 children and other diseases. The mean interval from the onset of symptoms to the diagnosis of IBD was 18 months. Diagnosis of Crohn's disease was delayed for more than 13 months in 8 (67%), whereas that of ulcerative colitis was delayed for more than 13 months in 4 (40%). Diarrhea (50%), abdominal pain (36%) and rectal bleeding (36%) were the three most frequent presenting complaints of IBD. Moderately severe abdominal pain was a more common chief complaint in Crohn's disease (58%) than in ulcerative colitis (10%). Hematochezia (90% vs 17%) and moderately severe diarrhea (90% vs 75%) were more common gastrointestinal manifestations in ulcerative colitis than in Crohn's disease. The associated extraintestinal manifestations were oral ulcer in 7, arthralgia in 11 and arthritis in 4, skin lesions in 2, eye lesions in 2 and growth failure in 9 patients. Of 12 children with Crohn's disease, granuloma was found in 5, aphthous ulcerations in 8, cobble stone appearance in 8, skip area or asymmetric lesions in 6, transmural involvement in 7, and perianal fistula in 3. Among 10 children with ulcerative Colitis, there were crypt abscess in 8, granularity or friability in 10 and rectosigmoid ulcerations with purulent exudate in 8 children. The main sites of involvement in children with Crohn's disease were both the small and large bowels in 7 (58%), small bowel only in 2 (16%), and colon only in 3 (25%). Terminal ileum involvement was seen in 75% of Crohn's disease cases. The main sites of involvement in children with ulcerative colitis were total colon in 4 (40%), up to the splenic flexure in 2 (20%), rectosigmoid in 3 (30%) and rectum only in one (10%). Medical treatment including sulfasalazine, and systemic or topical steroid was administered initially in most patients. Seven of 12 patients with Crohn's disease and 2 of 10 patients with ulcerative colitis were operated on.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
PMCID: PMC3053786  PMID: 1285921
22.  Intestinal lymphangiectasia in adults 
Intestinal lymphangiectasia in the adult may be characterized as a disorder with dilated intestinal lacteals causing loss of lymph into the lumen of the small intestine and resultant hypoproteinemia, hypogammaglobulinemia, hypoalbuminemia and reduced number of circulating lymphocytes or lymphopenia. Most often, intestinal lymphangiectasia has been recorded in children, often in neonates, usually with other congenital abnormalities but initial definition in adults including the elderly has become increasingly more common. Shared clinical features with the pediatric population such as bilateral lower limb edema, sometimes with lymphedema, pleural effusion and chylous ascites may occur but these reflect the severe end of the clinical spectrum. In some, diarrhea occurs with steatorrhea along with increased fecal loss of protein, reflected in increased fecal alpha-1-antitrypsin levels, while others may present with iron deficiency anemia, sometimes associated with occult small intestinal bleeding. Most lymphangiectasia in adults detected in recent years, however, appears to have few or no clinical features of malabsorption. Diagnosis remains dependent on endoscopic changes confirmed by small bowel biopsy showing histological evidence of intestinal lymphangiectasia. In some, video capsule endoscopy and enteroscopy have revealed more extensive changes along the length of the small intestine. A critical diagnostic element in adults with lymphangiectasia is the exclusion of entities (e.g. malignancies including lymphoma) that might lead to obstruction of the lymphatic system and “secondary” changes in the small bowel biopsy. In addition, occult infectious (e.g. Whipple’s disease from Tropheryma whipplei) or inflammatory disorders (e.g. Crohn’s disease) may also present with profound changes in intestinal permeability and protein-losing enteropathy that also require exclusion. Conversely, rare B-cell type lymphomas have also been described even decades following initial diagnosis of intestinal lymphangiectasia. Treatment has been historically defined to include a low fat diet with medium-chain triglyceride supplementation that leads to portal venous rather than lacteal uptake. A number of other pharmacological measures have been reported or proposed but these are largely anecdotal. Finally, rare reports of localized surgical resection of involved areas of small intestine have been described but follow-up in these cases is often limited.
PMCID: PMC3046182  PMID: 21364842
Intestinal lymphangiectasia; Adults; Submucosa
23.  Intramural Duodenal Haematoma after Endoscopic Biopsy: Case Report and Review of the Literature 
The development of intramural duodenal haematoma (IDH) after small bowel biopsy is an unusual lesion and has only been reported in 18 children. Coagulopathy, thrombocytopenia and some special features of duodenal anatomy, e.g. relatively fixed position in the retroperitoneum and numerous submucosal blood vessels, have been suggested as a cause for IDH. The typical clinical presentation of IDH is severe abdominal pain and vomiting due to duodenal obstruction. In addition, it is often associated with pancreatitis and cholestasis. Diagnosis is confirmed using imaging techniques such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography and upper intestinal series. Once diagnosis is confirmed and intestinal perforation excluded, conservative treatment with nasogastric tube and parenteral nutrition is sufficient. We present a case of massive IDH following endoscopic grasp forceps biopsy in a 5-year-old girl without bleeding disorder or other risk for IDH, which caused duodenal obstruction and mild pancreatitis and resolved within 2 weeks of conservative management. Since duodenal biopsies have become the common way to evaluate children or adults for suspected enteropathy, the occurrence of this complication is likely to increase. In conclusion, the review of the literature points out the risk for IDH especially in children with a history of bone marrow transplantation or leukaemia.
PMCID: PMC3290028  PMID: 22379465
Intramural duodenal haematoma; Endoscopic biopsy; Children; Bone marrow transplantation; Leukaemia
24.  Intussusception secondary to a carcinoid tumor in an adult patient☆ 
Intussusception in adult patients represents 5% of all intussusceptions and 1–5% of bowel obstructions in adults. In contrast to pediatric patients, 90% of the time, in adults, it's caused by well-established pathologic mechanisms, such as carcinoma, polyps, diverticula, Meckel diverticula, stenosis, or benign neoplasms. Small intestine intussusceptions are more frequent, but colonic intussusceptions are caused 50% of the time by malignant neoplasms, especially adenocarcinoma.
We present a 70-year-old woman, with no relevant familial history, who presented with a 3-day symptomatology consisting of epigastric, colic, diffuse, abdominal pain of moderate intensity, which progressed till reaching a severe intensity, also referring abdominal distension, nausea, and gastrointestinal-content vomits.
In adult patients, the exact mechanism of intussusception is unknown in 8–20% of the cases, however, secondary intussusception can occur with any lesion of the intestinal wall or any irritant factor in its lumen that alters normal peristaltic activity and that could serve as a trigger to start an intussusception of one bowel segment over another the most common site is the small intestine.
Intussusception represents an unusual problem in adult patients; it requires a high clinical suspicion, mainly as a differential diagnosis in patients with intestinal obstruction, and it clinically presents as a subacute or chronic illness. CT represents the most useful diagnostic tool. An attempt to perform reduction procedures in small intestine intussusceptions can be done, however, in ileocolic or colonic intussusceptions, a formal resection of the segment is recommended.
PMCID: PMC4008859  PMID: 24727207
Adult intussusception; Intussusception; Ileocolic carcinoid; Carcinoid; Intestinal obstruction
25.  Small intestinal obstruction due to phytobezoar: a case report 
Patients with mechanical small-bowel obstructions usually present with abdominal pain, vomiting, absolute constipation and varying degrees of abdominal distention. Causes can be classified as benign or malignant, or as extra- or intraluminal. A bezoar occurs most commonly in patients with impaired gastrointestinal motility. In edentulous older patients with abnormal food habits, it can also be an intestinal concretion that fails to pass along the alimentary canal.
Small bowel phytobezoars are rare and almost always obstructive. In a normal stomach, vegetable fibres that cannot pass through the pylorus undergo hydrolysis within the stomach, which softens them enough to go through the small bowel.
We present an unusual case of small intestinal obstruction caused by a phytobezoar in a patient who had neither a history of gastric surgery nor of intestinal pathology.
Case presentation
A 70-year-old Iraqi Kurdish man was hospitalized due to abdominal pain, vomiting and dehydration. Investigations concluded small intestinal obstruction. Subsequent laparotomy revealed that the cause of the obstruction was an eggplant phytobezoar.
Many types of bezoar can be removed endoscopically, but some will require operative intervention. Subsequently, prevention of any recurrence should be emphasized.
PMCID: PMC2803835  PMID: 20062741

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