Features of Adult Autoimmune Enteropathy Compared With Refractory Celiac Disease

Ayush Sharma, Rok Seon Choung, Xiao Jing Wang, Pierre A. Russo, Tsung Teh Wu, Vandana Nehra, Joseph A. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Little is known about the features of immune-mediated non-celiac villous atrophies, such as autoimmune enteropathy (AIE). We investigated the demographic, clinical, and histologic features of adults with AIE compared to adults with refractory celiac disease type 1. We also report outcomes of treatment with open-label budesonide. Methods: We performed a retrospective case–control of patients with AIE (n = 30) seen at the Mayo Clinic (in Rochester, Minnesota) from 2000 through 2015. Patients with refractory celiac disease type 1 who were treated with open-label budesonide served as controls (n = 42). Biopsy specimens were reviewed for all patients. We collected demographic, clinical, biochemical and histologic data from patients. We also collected data on responses to open-capsule budesonide from patients with AIE (available from 22 patients) and controls (available from 42 patients); the median duration of follow up was 28 months (range, 0–1421 months). Results: Patients with AIE had a higher proportion of men (60%) and were younger (mean, 44 ± 18 years) than patients with refractory celiac disease type 1 (29% men; P =.002 and mean age, 57 ± 16 years; P =.007). A higher proportion of patients with AIE presented with chronic diarrhea (100%) and weight loss (90%) than patients with refractory celiac disease type 1 (71%; P <.001 and 71%; P =.05, respectively). Based on histologic analysis, there was no significant difference in degree of villous atrophy in intestinal tissues from patients with AIE vs controls (P =.68). However, a greater proportion of patients with RCD had increased intraepithelial lymphocytes (>40 per 100 epithelial cells in 100%) compared with patients with AIE (in 50%) (P =.003). Conventional therapy (systemic steroids) had failed in most patients with AIE (a complete clinical response was reported in only 7 patients) before treatment with open-capsule budesonide was initiated. A clinical response to open-capsule budesonide was reported for 85% of patients with AIE (50% complete response, 35% partial response) compared to 92% of controls (68% complete response, 24% partial response). Conclusions: In a retrospective study of 30 patients with AIE, followed for a median 28 months, we found this disease to have has distinct demographic, clinical, and histologic characteristics compared to refractory celiac disease type 1. Most patients with AIE (85%) have a clinical response to budesonide, all of whom were unsuccessfully treated with conventional therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-883.e1
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Immune Enteropathy
  • Open-Capsule Budesonide
  • Refractory Diarrhea
  • Severe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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