Could it be Autoimmune Enteropathy?
Autoimmune enteropathy is a rare disorder in which the immune system causes damage to the lining of the intestines. Symptoms of autoimmune enteropathy (AIE) can be very debilitating, including severe diarrhea with malabsorption and weight loss – symptoms that mimic refractory celiac disease – but AIE does not respond to any dietary modification such as a gluten-free diet.
Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist, Dr. Joseph Murray, explains the results of a study, published in the journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, which investigated the clinical and histologic features of adults with AIE compared to adults with refractory celiac disease.
- Patients with AIE had a higher proportion of younger men than patients with refractory celiac disease type 1
- Patients with AIE presented with chronic diarrhea (100%) and weight loss
- A greater proportion of patients with refractory celiac disease had increased intraepithelial lymphocytes compared with patients with AIE
- Conventional therapy (systemic steroids) failed in most patients with AIE before treatment with open-capsule budesonide was initiated.
- A clinical response to open-capsule budesonide was reported for 85% of patients with AIE
The study concluded that budesonide may be a potential candidate for initial treatment of AIE to induce remission and with a safe therapeutic profile used for long-term maintenance therapy.
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