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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages 70-74

Granulomatous Vasculitis and Persistent Measles Virus Infection in Crohn’s Disease

AJ Wakefield

Director of Research, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Study Group, University Departments of Medicine and Histopathology, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London, UK

Received 25 March 1993; Accepted 26 July 1993

Copyright © 1994 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Based upon the recent observation of vasculitis in Crohn’s disease, a process that is more widespread than was recognized previously, the author investigated the possibility that this mechanism may provide an explanation for some of the clinical and histological idiosyncracies of this condition. In addition, it was suggested that the mesenteric microvascular endothelium may be a source of the persistent antigen that is responsible for ongoing cellular immunity in Crohn’s disease. This review discusses some of the studies designed to test these hypotheses, and discusses recent evidence for the presence of a measles-like virus in the endothelium in inflammatory foci, which may be relevant in the etiology of Crohn’s disease.