How does a biopsy of endoscopically normal terminal ileum contribute to the diagnosis? Which patients should undergo biopsy?
Background: Terminal ileum endoscopy and biopsy are the diagnostic tools of diseases attacking the ileum. However, abnormal histological findings can be found in endoscopically normal terminal ileum.
Objective: This study was performed to evaluate the histopathological results of biopsies from endoscopically normal terminal ileum in order to determine pre-procedure clinical and laboratory factors predicting abnormal histopathological results, if any.
Methods: A total of 297 patients who underwent colonoscopy and terminal ileum biopsy and had normal terminal ileum or a few aphthous ulcers in the terminal ileum together with completely normal colon mucosa were included in the study. The patients were grouped into two arms as normal cases and cases with aphthous ulcers. Histopathological and pre-procedural laboratory results of patients were analyzed according to their indications.
Results: The terminal ileum was endoscopically normal in 200 patients, and 97 patients had aphthous ulcers. Chronic ileitis rate was present in 5.5% of those with endoscopically normal terminal ileum and in 39.2% of the patients with aphthous ulcers. In both groups, the highest rate of chronic ileitis was detected in the patients with known inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (15.4 and 50%, respectively), anemia (9.5 and 43.5%, respectively), and in the patients having chronic diarrhea together with abdominal pain (7.7 and 44.8%, respectively). We found that the sensitivity of mean platelet volume for predicting chronic ileitis was 87% and the specificity was 45% at a cut-off value lower than 9.35 fl.
Conclusion: In anemia indication or chronic diarrhea together with abdominal pain, the frequency of aphthous ulcers detected by ileoscopy and the frequency of chronic ileitis detected histopathologically despite a normal-appearing ileum were elevated.
Keywords: Terminal ileum; ileoscopy; chronic ileitis; inflammatory bowel disease