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Superior mesenteric artery blood flow in celiac disease

D Alvarez, H Vazquez, J C Bai, R Mastai, D Flores, L Boerr
Digestive Diseases and Sciences 1993, 38 (7): 1175-82
Measurements of the hemodynamic parameters of the superior mesenteric artery were performed in 18 patients with celiac disease. Ten were studied at the time of diagnosis, when a small bowel biopsy showed a flat mucosa. The remaining eight patients were studied after complete clinical and histological recovery induced by a gluten-free diet. Doppler ultrasound flowmetry was used to measure blood flow in physiological and fasting conditions and after a mixed liquid test meal (Ensure-Plus). The results were compared with those of healthy subjects (N = 7). Mean basal flow was 50% higher in untreated celiac disease patients than in healthy controls and patients with chronic pancreatitis (P = NS). Postprandial mesenteric blood flow was significantly increased (P < 0.002) and delayed in time (P < 0.005) in celiac disease as compared to controls. Successful treatment reduced the mesenteric blood flow in celiac disease to normal values. Our study demonstrates that pathophysiological changes in the small bowel mucosa during the active clinical phase of celiac disease induce an abnormal splanchnic circulation.

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