The significance of ileo-colonic lymphoid nodular hyperplasia in children with autistic spectrum disorder.
Thoughtful House Center for Children, Austin, Texas 78746, USA. Wakersa@aol.com
BACKGROUND: Intestinal mucosal pathology, characterized by ileo-colonic lymphoid nodular hyperplasia (LNH) and mild acute and chronic inflammation of the colorectum, small bowel and stomach, has been reported in children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). AIM: To assess ileo-colonic LNH in ASD and control children and to test the hypothesis that there is an association between ileo-colonic LNH and ASD in children.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred and forty-eight consecutive children with ASD (median age 6 years; range 2-16; 127 male) with gastrointestinal symptoms were investigated by ileo-colonoscopy. Macroscopic and histological features were scored and compared with 30 developmentally normal (non-inflammatory bowel disease, non-coeliac disease) controls (median age 7 years; range 1-11; 25 male) showing mild non-specific colitis in 16 cases (13 male) and normal colonic histology in 14 cases (12 male). Seventy-four ASD children and 23 controls also underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. The influence on ileal LNH of dietary restriction, age at colonoscopy, and co-existent LNH elsewhere in the intestine, was examined.
RESULTS: The prevalence of LNH was significantly greater in ASD children compared with controls in the ileum (129/144 (90%) vs. 8/27 (30%), P < p =" 0.0003)," p =" 0.01)." p =" 0.2)." p =" 0.0001).">
CONCLUSION: Ileo-colonic LNH is a characteristic pathological finding in children with ASD and gastrointestinal symptoms, and is associated with mucosal inflammation. Differences in age at colonoscopy and diet do not account for these changes. The data support the hypothesis that LNH is a significant pathological finding in ASD children.WoltersKluwer Health