A patient is described with a severe malabsorption syndrome which failed to respond to a gluten-free diet. Although subtotal villous atrophy was present in the jejunal mucosa, histological features of subepithelial fibrosis and apparently normal enterocytes were not suggestive of coeliac disease. The findings of decreased mucosal thickness, of a normal mitotic rate in the crypt cell population, and of the decreased rate of loss of epithelial cells further suggested that the disease process producing the `flat' mucosa was not that of coeliac disease.
The condition was complicated by ileal ulceration and active tuberculosis.
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