Double-contrast Radiographic Assessment of Lupus-associated Enteropathy

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To describe the double-contrast radiographic features of lupus-associated enteropathy.

Materials and Methods:

Six patients with systemic lupus erythematosus involving the small bowel were assessed by double-contrast radiography of the duodenum and small intestine, with reference to clinical manifestations and jejunoscopic findings.


Lupus-associated enteropathy could be categorized into two types: acute onset enteritis in four patients and protein-losing enteropathy with hyperlipidaemia in two patients. The former group presented with irregular thickening and spiculation in the folds of the multiple segments of the duodenum to the terminal ileum, and they were frequently accompanied by thumbprinting, suggestive of ischaemic change. The latter group was characterized by mildly thickened folds with multiple submucosal nodules in the upper portion of the jejunum. In one patient from this group, jejunal biopsy demonstrated lymphangiectasia. Both groups were successfully treated by high-dose prednisolone. Follow-up radiography in the former group showed a complete improvement within 2-7 weeks, whereas radiographic abnormalities in the latter remained even after 2 months.


Lupus-associated enteropathy cases may be divisible into two types; an acute ischaemic enteritis type and a protein-losing enteropathy type, each presenting distinct radiographic features.

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