Micro-vasculature of Mucosal Structures in the Human Ileum

Ying Kit Leung


AIM: To study the vasculature as well as blood flow in the small intestine in health and disease in the human. METHOD: Patients undergoing ileocolonoscopy in the endoscopy unit aged 3 to 82 are included. The microstructures and their vasculature were examined under white light and a spectral enhancement program (FICE, Flexible Spectral Imaging Color Enhancement). RESULTS: There are two types of villi, the long, slender type and the broad, leaf-like type. The vasculature in the first type is mainly of the reverse fountain or one-up, one-down types, while that of the latter is of the reticular pattern. The Peyer’s patch is vascularized by a network of blood vessels which is denser in the young and much less so as age advances. Proliferation of blood vessels is an early feature in inflammation, which resolves as inflammation subsides. CONCLUSION: The new endoscopic equipment provides a new modality of investigative tool in investigating the microstructure of the small intestine.

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