Familial enteropathy with villous edema and immunoglobulin G2 subclass deficiency

Lesley J. Smith, Waldemar Szymanski, Charlotte Foulston, Laurence D. Jewell, Henry F. Pabst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We describe a familial form of recurrent acute, life-threatening secretory diarrhea associated with distinctive jejunal histologic changes and IgG2 subclass deficiency. Symptoms begin abruptly with anorexia and vomiting, and progress within hours to massive secretory diarrhea and shock with profound neutropenia and hypoproteinemia, including hypoalbuminemia and hypogammaglobulinemia. Affected survivors recover quickly and thereafter grow and develop normally. Biopsy specimens obtained during remission from 3 adults and 11 children show club-shaped jejunal villi broadened by edema and histiocytes with imbibed fluid; the overlying intestinal epithelium and brush border appear normal, but the basement membrane is interrupted in some areas. No characteristic microorganisms have been identified in association with the syndrome. Clinical manifestations cease in the second decade, but the abnormal jejunal histologic pattern persists into adult life. Female and male patients are equally affected, although all fatal cases have been in female subjects. Inheritance appears dominant with variable penetrance: one family member without a history of diarrhea has characteristic biopsy findings and another appears to be an obligate carrier with normal biopsy findings. Affected individuals have a reduced serum concentration of IgG2. We believe that this familial enteropathy is a unique entity, not previously described. (J PEDIATR 1994;125:541-8).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-548
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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