Gastric and duodenal biopsies from 2543 patients with abdominal complaints were sent to the Department of Pathology of the Stichting Samenwerking Delftse Ziekenhuizen in 1980 and 1981 and screened for plasma cells containing IgE using an indirect immunoperoxidase technique. Increased numbers of IgE containing cells were found in 2.6% of the patients. These patients all suffered from a variety of chronic non-specific inflammatory disorders of the upper gastrointestinal tract. No specific clinical, endoscopical, or histological picture could be found. The results suggest that increased numbers of plasma cells containing IgE in biopsies from the upper gastrointestinal tract are an expression of IgE mediated type I allergy presumably to food constituents as a secondary complication of chronic non-specific gastric and duodenal inflammation in these patients.
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