Celiac.com 02/24/2010 - Proper clinical diagnosis of celiac diseasestill relies on confirmation of histological evidence of villousatrophy via biopsy. Getting a good sample can sometimes be tricky. Ifhistological sections are not optimally oriented, then diagnosis may bemore difficult. As a result, doctors can sometimes fail to confirm theproper diagnosis.
A team of researchers recently set out tostudy the viability of confirming histological evidence of villousatrophy in real time, during upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, in liveduodenal mucosa of patients with celiac disease, using endocytoscopy, anovel diagnostic technique allowing in vivo real-time visualization ofmucosa under 450x magnification.
The team studied sixteen subjects withclinically proven celiac disease, together with seven controls subjectswith no celiac disease. They took endocytoscopic images from multipleareas and then made a blind comparison against standard histology.
Endocytoscopy revealed three distinct patterns of in vivo histology.
First,in all controls and eight celiac disease patients (n = 15),endocytoscopy revealed the presence of normal-appearing, long, thinvilli, lined with clearly distinguishable surface epithelial cells,considered to be normal duodenal mucosa.
Second, in four celiacdisease patients, endocytoscopy revealed the presence of thick,shortened villi, reflecting partial villous atrophy.
Finally,in four celiac disease patients, endocytoscopy revealed the totalabsence of villi, along with the presence of enlarged crypt orifices,reflecting total villous atrophy.
The team found solid agreement between endocytoscopy and standard histology in all 16 patients with celiac disease.
Fromtheir results, they conclude that endocytoscopy permits live,real-time, noninvasive imaging and assessment of villous architecture,and looks to be a promising method for in vivo evaluation of duodenalmucosa in celiac disease.