All that scallops is not celiac disease

Gastrointest Endosc. 2000 Jun;51(6):717-20. doi: 10.1067/mge.2000.104977.


Background: Scalloping of duodenal folds as well as a mosaic mucosal pattern, decreased folds, and increased vascularity are markers of duodenal mucosal injury, the most common cause being celiac disease. We have recognized scalloping in patients with a variety of conditions other than celiac disease.

Methods: Clinical, endoscopic and histologic data were reviewed from selected patients with endoscopically visualized scalloped folds along with testing for endomysial antibodies. Biopsy specimens were examined histologically for villous:crypt ratio, intraepithelial lymphocytes, and inflammation.

Results: Thirteen patients with scalloped folds underwent endoscopy for the following reasons: family history of celiac disease and osteoporosis, gastrointestinal bleeding, dyspepsia (2), B(12)/ folate deficiency (4), and diarrhea (8). Histologic examination was abnormal in all but 1 patient. Villous atrophy or flattening as evidenced by reduced villous:crypt ratio was seen in 11 of 13 patients. Other abnormalities were edematous or broadened villi (10), intraepithelial lymphocytosis (7), and infiltration of lamina propria (6). An infectious organism was identified in 6 patients (46%). Celiac disease was excluded by the lack of specific biopsy findings combined with endomysial antibody testing. Final diagnoses were normal (1), eosinophilic enteritis (1), giardiasis (1), tropical sprue (4), human immunodeficiency virus-related diseases (6) including human immunodeficiency virus enteropathy (1).

Conclusion: We conclude that scalloping is not specific for celiac disease but rather a predictor of mucosal disease as evidenced by villous atrophy, widening, and edema.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Celiac Disease / pathology*
  • Duodenum / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology*
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies