The American Journal of Digestive Diseases

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 57–64 | Cite as

Melanosis of the ileum

Case report and electron microscopic study
  • Kwan H. Won
  • Subash Ramchand
Case Reports


Melanosis involving the small intestine is extremely rare though not uncommon in the colon and appendix. Light and electron microscopic studies of a rare case of melanosis of the ileum are described. Histochemical studies showed that the pigment in the ileum was similar to that reported in cases of melanosis coli and gave reactions for both melanin and lipofuscin. Electron microscopic study revealed this pigment to be in large mononuclear cells in the lamina propria. No pigment was found in epithelial or other cells. Despite the well-recognized ultrastructure and histochemical reactions of this pigment, its precise chemical structure and mode of formation need further elucidation. This study establishes the occurrence of pigmentation of the small bowel identical to that seen in the colon and designated melanosis coli.


Public Health Small Intestine Small Bowel Mononuclear Cell Rare Case 
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Copyright information

© Hoeber Medical Division • Narper & Row, Publishers, Incorporated 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kwan H. Won
    • 1
  • Subash Ramchand
    • 1
  1. 1.From the Department of PathologyKingston General Hospital and Queen's UniversityKingstonCanada

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