OBJECTIVE. Celiac disease, or nontropical sprue, is a cause of mucosal malabsorption. A decreased number of jejunal folds and an increased number of ileal folds (jejunoileal fold pattern reversal) found at small-bowel follow- through have been reported for patients with celiac disease. We asked three questions regarding jejunoileal fold pattern reversal found at small-bowel follow-through in patients with celiac disease. (1) How often is it present, either partially or completely? (2) How often is it associated with other findings of malabsorption? (3) How reliably can it be distinguished from the normal pattern? MATERIALS AND METHODS. Twenty-eight small-bowel follow- through examinations performed on 25 adult patients with celiac disease (confirmed by characteristic small-bowel biopsy and clinical response to a gluten-free diet) were reviewed retrospectively by two authors, who agreed by consensus on partial or complete jejunoileal fold pattern reversal and on other findings of malabsorption. Two methods were used to control for retrospective bias. (1) The prospective and retrospective readings of fold pattern reversal were compared for agreement. (2) The author who had not participated in the retrospective review was asked to distinguish, on the basis of the presence or absence of fold pattern reversal, 24 cases of celiac disease (all of which showed partial or complete fold pattern reversal on retrospective review) from 25 normal control cases (patients with diarrhea) (confirmed by normal small-bowel biopsy). RESULTS. Partial or complete jejunoileal fold pattern reversal was identified retrospectively in 24 of the 28 small-bowel examinations (86%) performed on patients with celiac disease. One-half lacked other findings of malabsorption. The prospective and retrospective readings of fold pattern reversal agreed in 21 of the 28 examinations (75%). Forty-four of 49 examinations (90%) were correctly identified by the third author on the basis of fold pattern reversal. CONCLUSION. In patients with celiac disease, partial or complete jejunoileal fold pattern reversal discovered at small-bowel follow-through is common, is often not associated with other findings of malabsorption, and can be reliably distinguished from the normal pattern. Identification of jejunoileal fold pattern reversal found at small-bowel follow-through should prompt an appropriate clinical evaluation for celiac disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging