Eleven infants who were suspected clinically of having cows' milk protein sensitive enteropathy were fed with a protein hydrolysate formula for six to eight weeks, after which they had jejunal and rectal biopsies taken before and 24 hours after challenge with cows' milk protein. When challenged six infants (group 1) developed clinical symptoms and five did not (group 2). In group 1 the lesions developed in both the jejunal mucosa (four infants at 24 hours and one at three days), and the rectal mucosa, and the injury was associated with depletion of alkaline phosphatase activity. Infants in group 2 were normal. It seems that rectal injury that develops as a direct consequence of oral challenge with the protein in reactive infants may be used as one of the measurements to confirm the diagnosis of cows' milk protein sensitive enteropathy. Moreover, ingestion of such food proteins may injure the distal colonic mucosa without affecting the proximal small gut in some infants.
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