Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Enteritis (LPE) in Cats

Overview of Feline Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Enteritis

Lymphocytic plasmacytic enteritis (LPE) is a form of inflammatory bowel disease characterized by the presence of particular microscopic cells, including lymphocytes and plasma cells, in excess within the intestinal wall.

Below is an overview about Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Enteritis in Cats followed by detailed information about he diagnosis and a treatment of this condition.

Causes of Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Enteritis in Cats

Lymphocytic plasmacytic enteritis is seen in both dogs and cats and is seen in all ages. It is most common in middle aged and older animal.

Although some patients with LPE may have no clinical signs, some may have life threatening manifestations. Signs vary greatly in type, severity, and frequency.

What to Watch For

Diagnosis of Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Enteritis in Cats

Diagnostic tests may include:

Treatment of Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Enteritis in Cats

Treatment of patients with LPE should be directed at the underlying cause if identified. Most of these individuals can be treated as outpatients. Treatment options include:

Home Care

Administer all medication and dietary recommendations as directed by your veterinarian. Follow up as directed by your veterinarian. If your pet’s condition is not improving and is getting worse, seek veterinary attention at once.

Generally speaking, there is no preventative care for lymphocytic plasmacytic enteritis

In cases when a food intolerance or allergy is suspected or documented, avoid that particular item and adhere strictly to dietary changes.

In-depth Information on Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Enteritis in Cats

The term lymphocytic plasmacytic enteritis (LPE) refers to the most common form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is characterized by a particular population of inflammatory cells – lymphocytes and plasma cells – that are microscopically over- represented, and that gather within the intestinal wall. Although a definitive cause has not been well established, LPE is felt to be associated with an abnormal immune response to environmental stimuli that when continued, creates a self-perpetuating inflammation resulting in the disease.

Signs associated with LPE vary greatly in type, severity, and frequency. In general, early in the disease process signs are often mild and intermittent, but they increase in severity and frequency over time. Some combination of vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and appetite change are most often noted. Often there is an association with hypoproteinemia (low protein levels) caused by an excessive loss of protein into the gut. In animals that are hypoproteinemic, it is important to note that the initial step in the diagnosis is to exclude non-intestinal causes of hypoproteinemia, specifically related to the liver or kidneys. Many disorders must initially be considered when these individuals present.

Disorders other than primary gastrointestinal diseases that cause hypoproteinemia:

Other infiltrative inflammatory bowel conditions:

Diagnosis In-depth

Certain diagnostic tests must be performed to diagnose the underlying disorder and exclude other disease processes that may cause similar symptoms. A complete history, description of clinical signs, and thorough physical examination are all an important part of obtaining a diagnosis. In addition, the following tests are recommended to confirm a diagnosis:

Your veterinarian may require additional tests to insure optimal medical care. These are selected on a case by case basis:

Therapy In-depth

Appropriate therapy for lymphocytic plasmacytic enteritis is largely dependent on the underlying cause, and varies according to the type and severity of clinical illness. Depending on the severity of clinical signs and/or stage of disease, hospitalization may or may not be recommended. Patients who have severe vomiting and/or diarrhea, dehydration, or hypoproteinemia and associated inappropriate fluid accumulation are hospitalized for aggressive treatment and stabilization. Stable patients can be treated as outpatients as long as they are monitored closely for response to therapy.

With appropriate therapy, many patients do quite well. It is very important that all recommendations by your veterinarian are followed closely, and any questions or concerns that arise during the treatment protocol are addressed immediately.

Follow-up Care for Cats with Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Enteritis

Optimal treatment for your pet requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical, especially if your pet does not rapidly improve.