AIM: To investigate the ultrastructural and morphological changes of non-specific duodenitis (NSD) in an attempt to grade them according to the extent of the lesions.
METHODS: Biopsies were taken from the mucosa of duodenal bulb of 44 patients selected from the patients undergoing upper gastrointestinal endoscopy for epigastric discomforts. From each patient, two pinch biopsies on the same area were obtained from duodenal bulb. One was for scanning electron microscopy and the other was stained with hematoxylin-eosin, Warthin-Starry silver and both were then examined under light microscope. A total of 12 specimens (three from each degree of the normal and I-III of NSD diagnosed and graded by histology) selected from the 44 patients were dehydrated, critical point dried, coated with gold palladium and examined under a JEOL JSM-30 scanning electron microscope (SEM) at 20 kV.
RESULTS: According to the ultrastructural morphologic changes, non-specific duodenitis was divided into normal (as control group), mild, moderate and severe degrees according to results of SEM. The normal villi of duodenal bulb were less than 0.2 mm. There were inflammation cells, occasionally red blood cells and macrophages on the mucosal epithelial surface. Erosion and desquamation of epithelium could be seen. Three cases (25%, 3/12) had gastric metaplasia and Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infection could be found in 5 cases (41.67%, 5/12) in duodenal bulb mucosa. The most distinctive feature was the ulcer-like defect on the surface of epithelial cells.
CONCLUSION: Non-specific duodenitis is a separate entity disease caused by different factors. SEM is of value as an aid in the diagnosis of mucosal diseases of duodenum.
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