Sixty-two biopsies from 36 patients with ulcerative colitis and 29 biopsies from 15 patients with Crohn's disease were studied with special reference to the content of neutral, acid non-sulphated and sulphated mucosubstances. A marked decrease was found in mucosubstance in patients with active ulcerative colitis and was related to the intensity of inflammation in the lamina propria but not to the duration of the disease. In patients with active Crohn's disease there was no corresponding decrease. Techniques for mucosubstances appear to be of value in differentiating between the two diseases in rectal biopsies.
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