Plasma cells are essentially absent in the luminal gastrointestinal tract of patients with "complete" 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (DiGeorge syndrome).
Gastrointestinal symptoms are commonly reported in patients with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome or DiGeorge syndrome (DGS) in addition to the dominant cardiac manifestations and immunodeficiency. But literature providing specific morphologic details of the gastrointestinal tract pathology is very limited. Here, we provide the first comprehensive morphologic description of the luminal gastrointestinal tract changes in patients with DGS. Cytogenetically confirmed DGS patients were identified, clinical and laboratory data were reviewed to determine the severity of immunodeficiency, and patients were stratified into mildly immunocompromised, that is, partial DiGeorge anomaly or severely immunosuppressed, that is, complete DiGeorge anomaly groups. Gastrointestinal tract biopsies from these patients were retrospectively reviewed and compared with those from controls without the history of DGS. Patients with immunosuppressed DGS showed a near complete absence of plasma cells in the stomach, duodenum, and colon lamina propria by hematoxylin and eosin evaluation. Immunohistochemistry for CD138 used to highlight plasma cells confirmed this finding. The notable absence of plasma cells adds to the existing knowledge of the pathophysiology underlying DGS and expands the differential diagnostic considerations for this finding, which has been previously described in common variable immunodeficiency. It also provides a useful morphologic marker observable by the readily accessible light microscopy. Second, patients with DGS showed a mild increase in epithelial cell apoptosis in their colon. This finding is significant because of its overlap with morphologic features of gastrointestinal graft versus host disease as thymus transplantation is being used as a treatment option for patients with complete DGS.
Pendse, AA; Maule, JG; Neff, JL; McCall, S
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