Journal List > Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr > v.1(1) > 1110640

Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1998 Sep;1(1):45-55. Korean.
Published online Sep 30, 1998.
Copyright © 1998 The Korean Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Quantitative Analysis of Small Intestinal Mucosa Using Morphometry in Cow's Milk-Sensitive Enteropathy
Jin Bok Hwang and Yong Jin Kim
Department of Pediatrics, Catholic University of Taegu-Hyosung School of Medicine, Taegu, Korea.
Department of Pathology, Catholic University of Taegu-Hyosung School of Medicine, Taegu, Korea.


To make objective standards of small intestinal mucosal changes in cow's milk-sensitive enteropathy (CMSE) we analyzed histological changes of endoscopic duodenal mucosa biopsy specimens from normal children and patients of CMSE.


We review the medical records of patients who had been admitted and diagnosed as CMSE by means of gastrofiberscopic duodenal mucosal biopsy following cow's milk challenge and withdrawal. Thirteen babies with CMSE, ranging from 14 days to 56 days of age, were studied. Five non-CMSE patients were used as control, ranging from 22 days to 72 days of age. The morphometric parameters under study were villous height, crypt zone depth, ratio of villous height to crypt zone depth, total mucosal thickness and length of surface epithelium by using H & E stained specimens under the drawing apparatus attached microscope. In addition, the numbers of lymphocytes in the epithelium and eosinophil cells in the lamina propria and epithelium were measured.


In the duodenal mucosal biopsy specimens in CMSE we found partial and subtotal villous atrophy with an increased number of interepithelial lymphocytes. The mean villous height(135±-59 micrometer), ratio of villous height to crypt zone depth (0.46±-0.28), total mucosal thickness (499±-56 micrometer), length of surface epithelium of small intestinal mucosa (889±-231 micrometer) in CMSE was significantly decreased compared with the control (p<0.05). The mean crypt zone depth (311±-65 micrometer) was significantly greater than the control (188±-24 micrometer)(p<0.05). Infiltration of interepithelial lymphocytes (34.1±-10.5) were significantly greater than the control (13.6±-3.6)(p<0.05). The number of eosinophil cells in both lamina propria and epithelium was no significant differences between groups (p>0.05). The small intestinal mucosa in treated CMSE showed much improved enteropathy of villous height, crypt zone depth, interepithelial lymphocytes compared with the control as well as untreated CMSE.


Quantitation of mucosal dimensions confirmed the presence of CMSE. It seems to be a limitation in the capacity of crypt cells to compensate for the loss of villous epithelium in CMSE. Specimens obtained by gastrofiberscopic duodenal mucosal biopsy were suitable for morphometric diagnosis of CMSE. Improvement of CMSE also can be confirmed histologically after the therapy of protein hydrolysate.

Keywords: Small intestinal mucosal biopsy; Morphometry; Cow's milk-sensitive enteropathy; Gastrofiberscopic