The clinicopathologic features of chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infective enteritis.

Affiliation

Center of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Zhejiang, China. [Email]

Abstract

Chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infective enteritis (CAEBV enteritis) is rare and has not been well described yet. Therefore, we reported the clinicopathologic features of 11 patients with chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infective enteritis and their differences from inflammatory bowel disease. The major clinical presentations of chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infective enteritis were intermittent fever over 39 °C (100%), diarrhea (73%), abdominal pain (64%), lymphadenopathy (64%), splenomegaly (64%), and hepatomegaly (27%). The main endoscopic findings included numerous shallow, small, and irregular ulcers, mainly involving colon and small intestine together, no cobble-like appearance, and longitudinal ulcers. Compared to inflammatory bowel disease patients, the frequency of intermittent fever, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, the value of C-reactive protein, and serum Epstein-Barr virus DNA (EBV DNA) were significantly higher in chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infective enteritis patients (p < 0.01). The histologic findings show transmural inflammation with extended lymphoid infiltration, fissuring ulcers, and intraepithelial lymphocytosis. But chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infective enteritis lacked granulomas and connective tissue changes such as neural hypertrophy and thickened muscularis mucosae. Three chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infective enteritis patients died within 5 years of disease onset, and those three patients have received total colectomy, two of them died within 1 month after surgery. In this study, clinicopathologic features have been summarized to better recognize chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infective enteritis. There are resemblances between chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infective enteritis and inflammatory bowel disease, but some symptoms, signs, and indexes like intermittent fever, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, and elevated C-reactive protein, Epstein-Barr virus DNA are characteristics to differentiate chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infective enteritis and inflammation. Histopathological features also help the discrimination. Serum Epstein-Barr virus DNA and intestinal tissue in situ hybridization for Epstein-Barr virus-encoded RNA are recommended to exclude chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infective enteritis.