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Ultrastruct Pathol. 2010 May;34(3):117-25. doi: 10.3109/01913121003648410.

Ultrastructural aspects of enterocyte defects in infancy and childhood.

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Pediatric Research and Electron Microscopy Unit, Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.


Although there has been substantial progress in the identification of diarrheal diseases in infancy and childhood, electron microscopy may be still required for establishing diagnosis, staging, and response to therapy. This review describes severe conditions in which histopathologic examination alone cannot provide a firm diagnosis needed for therapeutic decisions. Microvillus inclusion disease, in its several variants, typifies this category. In certain forms of congenital disorders of glycosylation with gastrointestinal involvement, electron microscopic diagnosis is helpful. Among disorders due to abnormal immune-mediated reactions, celiac disease and cow's milk protein intolerance show fine structural changes of both diagnostic and staging value. Likewise, protein-losing enteropathies, including lymphangectasia, reveal information on the nature and extent of intestinal involvement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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