Characteristics of the Mucosal Surface on Scanning Electron Microscopy in Patients with Remitting Ulcerative Colitis

Ena Nomura, Tomohisa Sujino, Naoki Hosoe, Yusuke Yoshimatsu, Shun Tanemoto, Kaoru Takabayashi, Makoto Mutaguchi, Masayuki Shimoda, Makoto Naganuma, Haruhiko Ogata, Takanori Kanai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Ulcerative colitis (UC) is characterized by chronic intestinal epithelial damage, and previous studies have evaluated the epithelial structure of patients with active UC using electron microscopy. Aims: This study aimed to assess the intestinal epithelial structure using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the features of patients with UC who are in remission. Methods: In total, eight healthy controls and 20 patients with UC were enrolled, and colonic tissue samples from the cecum and rectum were collected. Then, we compared the epithelial surface structure on SEM between patients with UC who are in clinical remission and healthy controls. Results: In healthy controls, the colonic surface comprises small lobes (termed units), with one crypt located in the middle of each unit. In patients with UC, we found irregular unit and crypt mouth size, double crypt sign (> 1 crypt per unit), and lower number of small vesicles in the intestinal epithelial cells. Compared with healthy controls, patients with UC often presented with irregular unit size, double crypt sign, and irregular crypt mouth size in the rectum. The small vesicles were observed less frequently in patients with UC than in healthy controls. Conclusions: SEM revealed a unique epithelial structure in patients with UC who are in remission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3141-3148
Number of pages8
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept


  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intestinal epithelium
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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