Two hundred and ninety four duodenal and jejunal mucosal biopsy specimens from patients with coeliac disease, treated and untreated, and other conditions were examined histologically and by histochemical staining for five peptidase and three disaccharidase enzymes to determine profiles of activity. Suppression of activity paralleled the histology with the following enzymes: lactase, trehalase, brush border endopeptidase, dipeptidyl peptidase II and isomaltase. Lactase, trehalase, and brush border endopeptidase were specifically suppressed in untreated coeliac disease and were diagnostically useful. Examination of a combination of enzymes is recommended.
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