The significance of mucous change in the human duodenum in a series of patients with peptic ulcer disease has been appraised. No specific correlation was demonstrated with the acid output of the stomach if the extent of the change is considered, but it was shown to be more common in the higher acid states. Electron microscopic studies confirmed the specific structure of the mucous cells of the duodenum and suggest that they arise either by transformation of Brunner's gland cells or as a distinctive population in the crypts.
It is suggested that the mucous change is a protective mechanism involved in some way as yet unknown with the healing of ulcers.
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