Electron microscopical and cytochemical studies of intestinal biopsies from a patient with typical features of the Cronkhite-Canada syndrome show that the primary process affects the crypts. This results in cystic dilatation associated with expansion and focal degeneration of the crypt compartment of the intestinal epithelium. The villous epithelium compartment is reduced but ultrastructurally normal. Inflammation and oedema of the lamina propria follows from leakage of mucin through breaks in the abnormal crypts.
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