Document Type: Original Article
Department of Immunology, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran
Department of Immunology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
Poursina Hakim Digestive Diseases Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
Department of Pathology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
Background: Increased number of intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) is a key histological finding in the diagnosis of celiac disease (CD); however, the number of IELs in celiac patients and healthy subjects may vary from one region to another. Additionally, there are some seronegative celiac patients with a borderline histology. Objective: To determine the number of the CD3+ and CD8+ IELs T-cells in the celiac patients and healthy subjects (controls) in Isfahan. Methods: The duodenal biopsies were obtained from the celiac patients (n=15) and the controls (n=19). The total number of IELs/100 epithelial cells (ECs) were counted using the hematoxylin-eosin (H&E) staining method, and that of CD3+ and CD8+ IELs/100 ECs were counted using the immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining method. Results: This study defined the upper normal limit for each variable as mean + 2SD. Accordingly, the upper normal limits of the total IELs, CD3+ IELs, and CD8+ IELs/100 ECs were calculated as 37 (95% confidence intervals, CI: 33–41), 22 (95% CI: 19–25) and 12 (95% CI: 10–14), respectively. In 3 clinically CD diagnoses, the total IELs counts/100 ECs were below the upper normal limit, and the histopathological and serologic assays were negative. Nevertheless, the CD8+ IELs T-cells counts/100 ECs showed borderline values. Interestingly, these patients responded to a gluten-free diet (GFD). Conclusions: The study findings suggest that in the clinically diagnosed celiac disease, IELs count/100 ECs below the upper normal limit as well as negative histopathological and serologic assays and the cell density counts of the CD8+ IELs T-cells/100 ECs could be a useful parameter for CD diagnosis and make a decision to put them on a GFD.