Celiac.com 07/30/2007 - A study published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology suggests that a newly proposed system of classifying duodenal pathology on celiac disease provides an improved inter-observation than the less Marsh-Oberhuber classification, and offers an advance towards making a simpler, better, more valid diagnosis of celiac disease.

Celiac disease is presently classified according to the Marsh-Oberhuber system of classifying duodenal lesions.

Recently, a more elementary method has been suggested. That method is based on three villous morphologies—non-atrophic, atrophic with villous crypto ratio <3:1, and atrophic, villi idnetectable—combined with intraepithelial counts of >25/100 enterocytes.

The study team chose a group of sixty people to be part of the study. Of the 60 patients the team studied, 46 were female and 14 were male. The average age was 28.2 years with a mean range of 1-78 years. 10 people had celiac disease, 13 had celiac disease with normal villi, but a pathological increase in epithelial lymphocytes >25/100 & hyperplastic crypts. 37 patients had celiac disease with villous aptrophy.

Patients were given biopsies, with at least 4 biopsies were taken from the second part of the duodenum. Biopsies were fixed in formalin and processed according to standard procedures, with cuts at six levels, and stained with hematoxylin resin. The slides were sent randomly to 6 pathologists who were blind to one another.

The results showed that this new method of classification yielded better inter-observer agreement and more accurate diagnosis that the more difficult Marsh-Oberhuber system.

Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2007;5:838–843

health writer who lives in San Francisco and is a frequent author of articles for Celiac.com.

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