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September 1969

Small Intestinal Morphology in Infectious Hepatitis

Author Affiliations

USAF; USAF; USAF, Lackland Air Force Base, Tex

Arch Intern Med. 1969;124(3):322-325. doi:10.1001/archinte.1969.00300190062009

We have examined small-bowel biopsy specimens in 18 patients with acute infectious hepatitis. Contrary to previous reports, we found no significant distortion of mucosal morphology and nothing to distinguish these biopsy specimens from a group of specimens from control patients. We consider the most likely reason for the difference between this and the earlier reports is the lack of control biopsy specimens in the latter. This conclusion is supported by reports which stress the ubiquity of abnormal small-bowel mucosa in various regions of the world and demonstrate that the abnormality may be acquired by American residents in such a region. It is clear that, without control specimens, a mucosal lesion should not be attributed to the condition being investigated.