Saudi journal of gastroenterology : official journal of the Saudi Gastroenterology Association

Analysis of colonic mucosa mast cell count in patients with chronic diarrhea.

PMID 23006460


Chronic diarrhea is defined as a decrease in fecal consistency lasting for four or more weeks. Prevalence of this complication in the general population is 5%. Mast cells that play an important role in the regulation of gastrointestinal visceral sensitivity and vascular permeability may be involved in functional chronic diarrhea. In this study we tried to evaluate mast cells density in colonic mucosa of patients with chronic diarrhea. 50 patients with chronic diarrhea and 50 persons as control group were investigated. All specimens were immunohistochemically stained for mast cell tryptase (MCT) with monoclonal mouse anti-human MCT as well as toluidine blue. Mean number of mucosal mast cells were counted in 10 high power microscopic fields of patients and control groups. In patients group (age range, 15-78 years; 26 females), the number of mast cells per high power field in the immunohistochemistry staining was 21.3 ± 4.8 compared to 14.2 ± 3.4 in the control group (age range, 18-78 years; 24 females) [P < 0.001]. Also number of mast cells in toluidine blue staining was 10.3 ± 3.6 per high power field in cases and 7.1 ± 2.4 in the control group (P < 0.001). Elevated number of colonic mast cells exist in patients with chronic diarrhea. Further research should be considered on application of these findings for new therapeutic opportunities.