Adult autoimmune enteropathy

World J Gastroenterol. 2008 Feb 28;14(8):1156-8. doi: 10.3748/wjg.14.1156.


Recent reports have suggested that autoimmune enteropathy involving the small bowel may occur in adults as well as in children. Apparently, the endoscopic and histological changes are similar to celiac disease before treatment, but these are not altered by any form of dietary restriction, including a gluten-free diet. As in celiac disease, histologic changes in gastric and colonic biopsies have also been recorded. Anti-enterocyte antibodies detected with immunofluorescent methods have been reported by a few laboratories, but these antibodies appear not to be specific and may simply represent epiphenomena. A widely available, reproducible and quantitative anti-enterocyte antibody assay is needed that could be applied in small bowel disorders that have the histological appearance of celiac disease, but fail to respond to a gluten-free diet.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autoantibodies / chemistry
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / therapy*
  • Celiac Disease / diagnosis
  • Celiac Disease / immunology
  • Celiac Disease / therapy*
  • Enterocytes / cytology
  • Enterocytes / metabolism
  • Gastroenterology / methods
  • Goblet Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Stomach Diseases / immunology*
  • Stomach Diseases / therapy


  • Autoantibodies