Villous Atrophy Meaning, Definition, Symptoms, Recovery, Causes, Treatment

Learn all about villous atrophy meaning, definition, symptoms, recovery, causes and treatment. It is a common finding in a variety of intestinal diseases of animals, including viral, bacterial and protozoal infections, parasitism, hypersensitivity reactions in the bowel and alimentary lymphosarcoma. Malabsorption and diarrhea result.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) (once American Dietetic Association (ADA)) publishes guidelines for the dietary treatment of celiac disease. They are a reliable source of information for a gluten-free. However, because of the dynamics of this field, the diet requires ongoing collaboration between patients, health care providers, and dietitians.

Villi are small, finger-like projections in the small intestines that help you absorb nutrients. Villous atrophy is the blunting or flattening of the villi can be caused by the damage done by the immune system in a person with celiac disease after ingesting gluten. Damage to the villi can begin as early as three hours after exposure to gluten. However, the villi are not permanently damaged as the intestines continuously renew themselves.

There are certainly other causes of villous atrophy, but for the vast majority of people, Gluten Sensitivity is the foremost cause of damaged intestinal villi, while untreated parasitic infections, other food sensitivities and poor eating habits are contributing factors. In reality, going on a gluten elimination diet is the most important thing that you can do to stop the damage, start to reverse the inflammation and get back on the road to healing.

Video capsule endoscopy (VCE) offers a good supplementary method for detecting and managing these complications, but VCE alone generally cannot achieve a differential diagnosis for villous atrophy. In many cases, the symptoms of villous atrophy not caused by celiac disease called “non-celiac enteropathy” mirror the classic symptoms of celiac disease: diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain, and fatigue.

Villous Atrophy Meaning, Definition, Symptoms, Recovery, Causes, Treatment

What is Villous Atrophy?

Villi are small, finger-like projections in the small intestines that help you absorb nutrients. Villous atrophy is the blunting or flattening of the villi can be caused by the damage done by the immune system in a person with celiac disease after ingesting gluten.

Villous Atrophy Meaning

It is the abnormality of the small intestinal mucosa with crypt hyperplasia, resulting in flattening of the mucosa and the appearance of atrophy of villi; clinically seen in malabsorption syndromes such as sprue.

Villous Atrophy Definition

Flattening and disappearance of the finger-like absorptive processes of the small intestine that is a feature of coeliac disease. Villous atrophy is associated with an increased density of lymphocytes in the bowel lining (intraepithelial lymphocytes), but whether they cause it is uncertain.

Villous Atrophy Symptoms

The best-known (but not necessarily most common) symptoms of villous atrophy are celiac disease, smelly diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, and fatigue. However, celiac disease can affect just about every system in your body, including your skin, your hormones, and your bones and joints, and can cause symptoms you might never think to associate with the condition.

People with celiac disease might suffer from constipation instead of diarrhea, experience weight gain instead of weight loss, and endure heartburn instead of (or in addition to) stomach pain. They might also have absolutely no symptoms at all, or they might appear at their doctor’s office with one seemingly unrelated symptom, such as unexplained anemia.

Villous Atrophy Recovery

Villous atrophy (VA) in the small intestine, is associated with increased mortality, but it is unknown if this excess mortality is influenced by mucosal recovery. Once you’re diagnosed with celiac disease and begin the gluten-free diet, your villi generally start to heal. But several studies have shown that your small intestine may not heal completely, even if you’re following a very careful diet and aren’t cheating.

Villous Atrophy Causes

The most frequent cause of villous atrophy is celiac disease; less common etiologies are combined immunodeficiency states, drug-induced injury, radiation damage, recent chemotherapy, graft-versus-host disease, specified infections (giardiasis, Whipple’s disease), and unspecified tropical disease (tropical sprue). Premalignant or malignant consequences of celiac disease include refractory celiac disease, ulcerative jejunitis, enteropathy-associated intestinal T-cell lymphoma (EATL), and small intestinal carcinoma. Following are the causes;

  • Celiac Disease
  • Giardiasis
  • Collagenous sprue
  • Common-variable immunodeficiency
  • Autoimmune enteropathy
  • Radiation enteritis
  • Whipple’s disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • Tropical sprue
  • Eosinophilic gastroenteritis
  • Human immunodeficiency virus enteropathy
  • Intestinal lymphoma
  • Zollinger–Ellison syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Intolerance of foods other than gluten (e.g., milk, soy, chicken, tuna)

Villous Atrophy Treatment

Villous atrophy treatment depends on the symptoms and causes associated with it. The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce morbidity and to prevent complications. Corticosteroids might be indicated. Lactose is often eliminated in the initial phases of dietary treatment as well. This is because lactase deficiency is thought to accompany the flat mucosa.

Empiric antimicrobial therapy must be comprehensive and should cover all likely pathogens in the context of the clinical setting. Following medicines are also prescribed;

• Tetracycline (Sumycin), this and oxytetracycline are bacteriostatic antibiotics that inhibit protein synthesis of bacteria. Usually 250 mg per oral four times daily for up to four months.
• Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B-12, Crystamine, Cyomin)
• Folic acid (Folvite)
• Iron sulfate (Ferrous sulfate, Feosol)

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