Ultrastructural aspects of enterocyte defects in infancy and childhood

Theodore C. Iancu, Irena Manov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-125
Number of pages9
JournalUltrastructural Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Address correspondence to Prof. T. C. Iancu, MD, Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, P.O. Box 9649, Haifa 31096, Israel. E-mail: tiancu@tx.technion.ac.il The authors thank the Dan David Foundation and the Milman Fund for Pediatric Research for supporting these investigations. Mark Hirsh and Idan Frumin provided excellent technical and graphic assistance.


  • Celiac disease
  • Congenital defects of glycosylation
  • Electron microscopy
  • Enterocyte defects
  • Lymphangectasia
  • Malabsorption syndromes
  • Microvillus inclusion disease
  • Steatorrhea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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