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Gut. 2002 Sep;51(3):372-8.

Heterogeneity of intraepithelial lymphocytes in refractory sprue: potential implications of CD30 expression.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, and Laboratory for Immunohistochemistry and Immunopathology, Institute of Pathology, University of Oslo, Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway. i.n.farstad@labmed.uio.no

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Refractory sprue is defined as primary or secondary failure to respond to a gluten free diet in patients with coeliac disease-like enteropathy and may signify cryptic or overt enteropathy associated T cell lymphoma.

AIMS:

To study in detail jejunal morphology and immunophenotypes in patients with refractory sprue in the search for features that might be useful to predict prognosis.

PATIENTS:

Seven patients are described, representing all such cases identified in our hospital over a 13 year period.

METHODS:

Biopsy and/or surgical resection specimens were examined by morphology, immunohistochemistry, including enzymatic and immunofluorescent detection, and molecular biology.

RESULTS:

All patients had phenotypically abnormal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) that lacked CD8, T cell receptor alpha beta (or gamma delta), and/or expressed CD30 in addition to variable expression of the natural killer cell receptor CD94. A monoclonal T cell population was present in six cases, data from the seventh being inconclusive. Three patients had overt lymphoma with CD30+ tumour tissue intervening between intact mucosa that contained neoplastic IELs. Intriguingly, CD30+ IELs were observed both a long way away from, and in direct continuity with, the tumours in these patients. Such CD30+ cells were hardly detected in patients without tumours, two of which are in good health several years after the initial diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our data suggest that abnormal IELs in patients with refractory sprue are phenotypically heterogeneous. CD30 expression by these cells may indicate a worse prognosis, including the occurrence of overt lymphoma.

PMID:
12171959
PMCID:
PMC1773363
DOI:
10.1136/gut.51.3.372
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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