Intestinal Behçet’s disease—Pathognomonic changes in intramucosal lymphoid tissues and effect of a “rest cure” on intestinal lesions
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To clarify the pathognomonic changes of intestinal lesions of Behçet’s disease and to determine effective therapeutic measures, we recruited 13 patients with the intestinal form of this disease for study. We performed pathology studies on the resected specimens of 7 patients and treated 5 of the other 6 patients with a low-residue diet. Pathology examination revealed that 6 of the 7 had inflammatory ulcerations in the ileocecal region. The ileal ulcers were mainly on the antimesenteric side. We observed remnants of Peyer’s patches at the margins of the major ulcerative lesions in 2 of 2 patients examined. There were aggregations of lymphocytes resembling destroyed lymph follicles in the superficial layer at the mouths of small fissuring lesions, and ulcer scars were also noted in Peyer’s patches in 4 of 5 other patients. X-ray and endoscopic examinations revealed the disappearance of intestinal lesions in 5 patients within 1 month during, or following the low-residue diet treatment. We found the intestinal lesions of Behçet’s disease at sites coinciding with intramucosal lymphoid tissue. The “rest cure” for the affected bowel was effective, i.e., there was significant alleviation of gastrointestinal symptomas and the intestinal lesions disappeared. We speculated that acute exudative inflammation, abscess formation, and consequent ulceration may occur in these tissues by the same mechanisms as those that operate in the positive needle-prick reactions seen in patients with Behçet’s disease.
Key wordsintestinal Behçet’s disease Peyer’s patches low-residue diet rest cure
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