Neuromuscular alterations in the dilated ileum of an adult patient with segmental lymphangiectasia

Silvia Paggi, Stefano Ferrero, Paola Braidotti, Paolo De Rai, Dario Conte, Guido Basilisco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intestinal lymphangiectasia is a rare condition, which is characterized by the dilation of small bowel lymphatics and presents with signs and symptoms of protein-losing enteropathy. Some patients have complained of occlusive symptoms attributable to the mechanical obstruction caused by the considerable mucosal edema associated with the lymphatic dilation. On the basis of the hypothesis that alterations in the neuromuscular structures controlling clearance function or gut tone may play a role in ileal dilation, we examined the resected ileum of a 48-year-old male patient with segmental lymphangiectasia histologically, immunohistochemically (for S100 protein, PGP 9.5, Bcl-2, neuron-specific enolase, neurofilaments, synaptophysin, and CD117/C-kit), and by means of electron microscopy. Histology showed pseudocystic dilation of the mucosal, submucosal, and muscular lymphatics with fragmentation of the circular and longitudinal muscle layers. Hardly any neural expression of synaptophysin was observed, but the neural structures were otherwise morphologically normal and reacted normally to the other neural markers. This case shows that neuromuscular alterations can be found in the dilated ileum of patients with segmental lymphangiectasia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-938
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008


  • Intestinal lymphangiectasia
  • Intestinal pseudoobstruction
  • Synaptophysin immunoreactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology


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