villous atrophy

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vil·lous at·ro·phy

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

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.


1. decrease in size of a normally developed organ or tissue; wasting.
2. to undergo or cause atrophy.

disuse atrophy
atrophy of local musculature due to failure to use a part of the body, due usually to pain. Is separate from neurogenic atrophy when nerve damage causes atrophy from both disuse and denervation.
iris atrophy
occurs with aging, particularly in Siamese cats and miniature schnauzers and poodles; may be secondary to trauma, recurrent uveitis and chronic glaucoma.
mammary atrophy
the terminal stage of chronic mastitis; palpation establishes that little mammary tissue remains and inflammatory fibrous tissue has subsided.
Enlarge picture
Blind quarter (atrophy) in a cow following mastitis. By permission from Blowey RW, Weaver AD, Diseases and Disorders of Cattle, Mosby, 1997
optic atrophy
atrophy of the optic nerve; may occur with trauma, prolonged inflammatory diseases of the eye, and retinal degeneration.
retinal atrophy
see progressive retinal atrophy.
serous atrophy
in cachexia there is mobilization of depot fat and lipid vacuoles are progressively reduced in size and replaced by proteinaceous fluid which converts the fat depots to gelatinous masses of serous atrophy.
villous atrophy
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. An idiopathic, possibly immune-mediated, villous atrophy occurs in dogs.


pertaining to or emanating from villi.

villous atrophy
reduction in size of the villi of the intestinal mucosa caused for example by invasion by enteric viruses such as rotavirus and coronavirus. The atrophy is the result of loss of the epithelial cells of the villus. Digestion is impaired leading to a syndrome of diarrhea and bulky feces.
References in periodicals archive ?
1-8 4 1 5 20 Total 20 5 25 Table--4: Jejunal Biopsy in Controls Jejunal Biopsy Findings Male Female Total Normal 3 1 4 Partial Villous Atrophy 0 1 1 Total 3 2 5 Table--5: Age and Sex Distribution of the Cases of Chronic Amoebic Colitis Age Groups Male Female Total Percentage (in years) 15-20 8 2 10 9.
HIV enteropathy: crypt stem and transit cell hyperproliferation induces villous atrophy in HIV/microsporidia-infected jejunal mucosa.
Based on the clinical features and small bowel histology, children with coeliac disease were categorized into two groups: (i) subtotal villous atrophy and (ii) partial villous atrophy.
Silent coeliac disease: patients are asymptomatic but have villous atrophy on jejunal biopsy.
Marsh 3 is villous atrophy which is further subdivided in A, B and C categories according to focal, partial and complete villous atrophy respectively.
As has been highlighted earlier, while the extrinsic apoptotic pathway plays a role in villous atrophy in patients with celiac disease, studies on the intrinsic and common apoptotic pathways in patients with celiac disease are sparse.
This process initiates a cascade of events resulting in mucosal inflammation, small intestinal villous atrophy, increased intestinal permeability to large molecules, and malabsorption of nutrients.
In the face of symptoms that are persistent to any degree, the value of assessing what, if any, villous atrophy is remaining can be critical, and it is ideally assessed without additional invasive biopsy to the very region under repair.
Elfstrom of Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm and his colleagues reviewed data from 28,882 Swedish patients with celiac disease that was confirmed by biopsy showing villous atrophy in the small intestine (Clin.
Thrombosis, infarction, villous atrophy and large haemorrhages have been observed consistently in women with thrombophilic risk factors.
A finding of villous atrophy on intestinal biopsy is the definitive diagnostic test for celiac disease.
Endoscopic biopsy results obtained during the previous 2 years showed continued villous atrophy with intraepithelial lymphocytes.