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 ?
The diagnosis of celiac disease was suspected by the presence of typical clinical manifestations (chronic diarrhea, anemia, and short stature) along with positive results for serum immunoglobulin A (IgA) anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody and presence of villous atrophy on histology.
HIV enteropathy: crypt stem and transit cell hyperproliferation induces villous atrophy in HIV/microsporidia-infected jejunal mucosa.
As described earlier, both type II EATL and NK/T-cell lymphoma can show villous atrophy in areas directly involved by lymphoma.
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.
Endoscopic biopsy remains the gold standard for diagnosis and is effectively a requirement for definitive diagnosis and assessment of villous atrophy in the form of a Marsh score.
Histopathology did not reveal any infectious organisms in the fetal tissues; however, the chorioallantois showed moderate villous atrophy, which was presumed to be the cause of fetal death.
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.
Endoscopic biopsy results obtained during the previous 2 years showed continued villous atrophy with intraepithelial lymphocytes.
Biopsies from upper and lower endoscopy revealed atrophic gastritis, villous atrophy, and an inflammatory bowel disease-like chronic colitis, with absence of plasma cells in all sites.
The relationship between anti-endomysium antibodies and villous atrophy in coeliac disease using both monkey and human substrate.
1 Individuals with silent CD do not show any symptoms, but nevertheless exhibit specific antibodies, relevant HLA alleles, and villous atrophy.