Mastocytic enterocolitis as a rare cause of chronic diarrhea in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis
Department of Internal Medicine, State Hospital Mürzzuschlag, Mürzzuschlag, Austria.Wiener klinische Wochenschrift (Impact Factor: 0.84). 05/2011; 123(9-10):297-8. DOI: 10.1007/s00508-011-1566-7
The prevalence of chronic diarrhea within the U.S. population has been reported to be as high as five per cent, and numerous causes have been identified. Especially in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis drug therapy should be considered as possible cause. We report a case of chronic diarrhea triggered by mastocytic enterocolitis in a patient suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Systemic mastocytosis and other causes of chronic diarrhea, especially therapy with methotrexate, were carefully ruled out. Treatment with desloratadin and ranitidine was initiated and led to a rapid and persistent amelioration of clinical symptoms. The diagnosis of mastocytic enterocolitis should be considered in patients with chronic diarrhea and normal clinical, laboratory, as well as endoscopical work-up.
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ABSTRACT: Collagenous and lymphocytic colitis are common causes of chronic watery diarrhea that are characterized by distinct histopathologic abnormalities without endoscopically visible lesions and are summarized as microscopic colitis. Several variants of microscopic colitis have been described, although their clinical significance still has to be defined. Preserved mucosal architecture is a histologic hallmark of microscopic colitis and distinguishes the disease from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In addition to architectural abnormalities, the diagnosis of IBD rests on characteristic inflammatory changes. Differential diagnosis of IBD mainly includes prolonged infection and diverticular disease-associated colitis, also known as segmental colitis associated with diverticulosis.
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ABSTRACT: Context .- Mastocytic enterocolitis is a recently described entity defined by chronic diarrhea of unknown etiology and normal colon biopsy results with increased mast cells (MCs) seen on special stains. These patients may benefit from mast cell stabilizers; however, the clinical utility of MC counts remains unknown. Objective .- To determine the clinical utility of colonic MC counts on normal biopsies in patients with chronic diarrhea of unknown etiology. Design .- Blinded MC counts using a c-Kit stain were performed in 76 consecutive patients with chronic diarrhea of unknown etiology who had normal colon biopsy results and in 89 consecutive control patients presenting for screening colonoscopy. Mast cells were counted per single high-power field in the highest-density area. A t test was used to compare the counts, and receiver operating characteristic curves were generated to examine sensitive and specific cutoff values. Results .- Overall, MC counts averaged 31 MCs per high-power field in the study group versus 24 MCs per high-power field in the control group (P < .001). When stratified by location, a significant increase was seen in biopsies from the left colon only. Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that overall MC counts, left-sided MC counts, and the difference between right- and left-sided MC counts did not yield discriminatory cutoff values (area under the curve, 0.68, 0.74, and 0.81, respectively). Conclusions .- Mast cell counts were increased in patients with chronic diarrhea of unknown etiology, primarily in the left colon. However, receiver operating characteristic analysis demonstrates no discriminatory cutoff values. Quantitative MC stains yield little useful diagnostic information, and further studies are necessary to determine whether mastocytic enterocolitis truly represents a distinct entity.
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