Electron microscopy in the long-term follow-up of Whipple's disease. Effect of antibiotics

Am J Surg Pathol. 1981 Jul;5(5):507-16. doi: 10.1097/00000478-198107000-00011.


The electron-microscopic and light-microscopic findings on jejunal biopsies from a case of Whipple's disease are described. Seven biopsies were obtained over a 3-year period. Rapid clinical recovery was accompanied by the disappearance of interstitial and intracellular bacteria from the lamina propria. The pathognomonic PAS-positive material on light microscopy corresponding to the phagocytic vacuoles in the macrophages of the lamina propria decreased markedly in amount but persisted throughout the 3-year-period. The sequential changes in the jejunal mucosa and in particular those occurring in macrophages are described and their relation to pathogenesis is discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / cytology
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Macrophages / physiology
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Whipple Disease / pathology*
  • Whipple Disease / physiopathology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents