The finding, in a patient with celiac sprue, of a characteristic change at endoscopy (scalloping of the valvulae conniventes, event on close inspection, but forming only a mosaic pattern from a distance) led to an endoscopic survey designed to define its incidence. In a series of 28 sequential patients found to have microscopic changes characteristic of sprue on biopsy, distinctive endoscopic changes were found in 22 (in 6 of 9 with sprue in relapse, and 16 of 19 presenting with initial symptoms). The finding of the distinctive appearance provides an endoscopically recognizable pattern that can be associated with sprue. It also provides the potential for early recognition of the process in patients in whom the diagnosis might otherwise have been delayed due to a lack of substantial evolution of the usually associated symptom complex.
Comment in: Gastroenterology. 1989 Oct;97(4):1064-5. (PMID: 2777034)