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Full-thickness biopsy findings in chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction and enteric dysmotility
  1. G Lindberg1,
  2. H Törnblom1,
  3. M Iwarzon1,
  4. B Nyberg2,
  5. J E Martin3,
  6. B Veress4
  1. 1
    Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden
  2. 2
    Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  3. 3
    Institute of Cellular & Molecular Sciene, Barts and the London, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine & Dentistry, Whitechapel, London, UK
  4. 4
    University of Lund, Department of Pathology at University Hospital MAS, Malmö, Sweden
  1. Dr G Lindberg, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, SE-141 86 Stockholm, Sweden; greger.lindberg{at}


Background and Aims: Small bowel manometry is increasingly used in the clinical investigation of patients with symptoms of intestinal motor dysfunction. Enteric dysmotility (ED) has been suggested as a new diagnostic term for patients with abnormal intestinal motor activity but no radiological signs of chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIP). Histopathological features of adult patients with ED and CIP have been compared in a large case series to study differences and similarities between the two diagnostic groups.

Methods: Routine staining and an extensive panel of immunohistochemical stains on transversal and tangential cuts from full-thickness biopsies of the small bowel were used.

Results: 39 females and 11 males with CIP and 58 females and 7 males with ED were investigated. The underlying lesion was more often a visceral myopathy (22% vs 5%) or neuromyopathy (30% vs 12%) in patients with CIP than in those with ED, whereas the predominant lesion in ED was neuropathy with inflammation.

Conclusion: CIP in adults is associated with very different underlying pathology, whereas ED is more homogeneously associated with neuropathy in the enteric nervous system. Neuropathy of enteric ganglia with inflammation seems to be the most common cause for measurable disturbances of intestinal motor function.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Patient consent: The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge.

  • See Commentary, p 1042

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