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Role of routine small intestinal biopsy in adult patient with irritable bowel syndrome-like symptoms.

Minerva Med. 2010 Jun;101(3):129-34

Authors: Pironti A, Tadeu V, Pedroni A, Porcu A, Manca A, Massarelli G, Realdi G, Dore MP

AIM: The clinical evaluation of patients with chronic diarrhea and/or abdominal pain requires a complex work-up. The aim of the study was to evaluate whether routine duodenal biopsy sampling of macroscopically normal mucosa of patients with irritable bowel syndrome-like symptoms undergoing upper endoscopy assists in diagnosis and management. METHODS: Consecutive adults scheduled for upper endoscopy for evaluation of uninvestigated dyspepsia and abdominal pain and/or chronic diarrhea based upon the history, were enrolled. Gastric biopsies and 3 duodenal biopsies were taken for histological evaluation. RESULTS: A total of 786 sets of biopsies from 262 consecutive patients (200 females and 62 males, mean age 46 years; range: 15-82), were analyzed. Microscopic damage was observed in 212 of 262 patients (81%) with normal mucosa. Mild to moderate and severe duodenitis or villi atrophy was histologically confirmed in 65%, 26% and 8% of 212 patients respectively. The negative predictive value of a normal appearing duodenal mucosa was 19%. Additional tests confirmed celiac disease in 12 patients. Lactose malabsorption was present in 42%, bacterial overgrowth in 14%, and H. pylori infection in 28%. Colonoscopy performed in 92 patients revealed non specific colitis (25%), microscopic colitis (28%), Crohn's disease (1%), and diverticulosis (15%). CONCLUSION. Duodenal biopsies revealed abnormalities in the majority of adults with chronic diarrhea and/or abdominal pain despite macroscopically normal gross findings. These results suggest that duodenal biopsies could be helpful in patients with chronic diarrhea and/or abdominal pain for the following work up.

PMID: 20562801 [PubMed - in process]

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