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J Pediatr. 1996 Feb;128(2):213-9.

Ménétrier disease of childhood: role of cytomegalovirus and transforming growth factor alpha.

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Department of Pediatrics, Ohio State University, Columbus, USA.



Because the role of cytomegalovirus in Ménétrier disease in children remains unclear and recent studies have implicated transforming growth factor alpha in the pathogenesis of this disease in adults, we investigated the possibilities that (1) cytomegalovirus is etiologic in Ménétrier disease in children and (2) transforming growth factor alpha mediates its development.


The presence of a cytomegaloviral infection and the pattern of transforming growth factor alpha immunolocalization were determined in the gastric mucosa of four pediatric patients with Ménétrier disease, in control subjects (children with normal gastric mucosa, gastritis, or prostaglandin E1-induced antral hyperplasia), and in adults with Ménétrier disease.


Evidence of a cytomegaloviral infection was present only in the four children with Ménétrier disease. The pattern of transforming growth factor alpha immunostaining was identical in the specimens from pediatric and adult patients with Ménétrier disease. This pattern was distinct from that found in the pediatric control specimens.


These data strengthen the possibilities that cytomegalovirus is etiologic in children and that transforming growth factor alpha is involved in the pathogenesis of Ménétrier disease in both children and adults.

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