Table of Contents
Diagnostic and Therapeutic Endoscopy
Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 29-33

Gastroduodenal Morphology and Related Symptoms in Chronic Alcoholics

1Department of Internal Medicine, Central Hospital Karlstad, Sweden
2Department of Internal Medicine, Lund University Hospital, Sweden
3Department of Internal Medicine, Central Hospital of Østfold, Fredrikstad N-1603, Norway

Received 17 January 1997; Accepted 24 February 1997

Copyright © 1997 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.


Twenty-four chronic alcoholics admitted to hospital for detoxification after a drinking spree were examined by upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Biopsy specimens were taken from corpus/fundus, antrum and duodenum for tissue histology (eosin stain). From the duodenum villus index and ultrastructure (scanning electron microscopy, SEM) were also performed. As a control group 12 subjectively healthy non-alcoholics referred to upper gastrointestinal endoscopy mainly for dyspepsia were chosen.

Gastrointestinal symptoms were common in alcoholics (88%). Endoscopic and histological gastroduodenitis were not more common in the alcohol group. There was no correlation between gastrointestinal symptoms and endoscopic or histological gastroduodenitis in both groups. In the duodenum, 50% of the alcoholics and 82% in the control group had alterations by scanning electron microscopy. Ten of the 11 alcoholics with an abnormal ultrastructure had diarrhoea. In the control group dyspepsia (ulcus suspect) was correlated to a pathological SEM.