Small intestine & ampulla


Microvillus inclusion disease

Last author update: 1 August 2012
Last staff update: 18 November 2020

Copyright: 2003-2023,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Microvillus inclusion disease small bowel

Hanni Gulwani, M.B.B.S.
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Cite this page: Gulwani H. Microvillus inclusion disease. website. Accessed March 28th, 2023.
Definition / general
  • Also called congenital or familial microvillous atrophy
  • Disorder of intestinal brush border that causes intractable watery diarrhea with steatorrhea in infants
  • Patients require total parental nutrition and rarely live beyond age 2 years
  • Villous atrophy may be due to apoptotic cell loss (Hum Pathol 2000;31:1404)
  • Small bowel transplant
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Severe villous abnormality with crypt hypoplasia, resembling celiac sprue but without lymphocytosis
  • Increased enterocyte apoptosis and proliferation, bubbly vacuolated apical cytoplasm with extensive or patchy absence of brush border, absence of inflammation (Ultrastruct Pathol 2010;34:327)
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Various images

Positive stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Abnormal microvillus structures at luminal border of enterocytes
  • Apical intracytoplasmic inclusions lined by microvilli
Electron microscopy images

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Neonatal congenital microvillus atrophy

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