Cases reported "Malabsorption Syndromes"

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1/5. Familial enteropathy: a syndrome of protracted diarrhea from birth, failure to thrive, and hypoplastic villus atrophy.

    We have studied 5 infants with persistent severe diarrhea from birth and marked abnormalities of absorption associated with failure to thrive leading to death in 4 infants. Three had siblings who died and a sibling of a 4th is ill at present, all with a similar illness; 2 were the products of consanguinous marriages. Exhaustive investigation failed to identify a recognized disease entity in any patient. steatorrhea, sugar malabsorption, dehydration, and acidosis were severe in all patients, whatever the diet fed. Total parenteral nutrition was used, but excessive stool water and electrolyte losses persisted even when nothing was fed by mouth. There was no evidence of a hematological or consistent immunological defect in any infant and no abnormalities of intestinal hormones were noted. In the duodenal mucosa of all infants we saw similar abnormalities characterized by villus atrophy, crypt hypoplasia without an increase in mitoses or inflammatory cell infiltrate in the lamina propria and in villus enterocytes absence of a brush border, increase in lysosome-like inclusions, and autophagocytosis. In 3 infants studied by marker perfusion of the proximal jejunum we found abnormal glucose absorption and a blunted response of Na absorption to actively transported nonelectrolytes; in 2 there was net secretion of Na and H2O in the basal state. Our patients evidently suffered from a congenital enteropathy which caused profound defects in their capacity to assimilate nutrients. The similar structural lesion seen in the small intestinal epithelium of all of our cases undoubtedly contributed to their compromised intestinal function, but the pathogenesis of this disorder, if indeed it is a single disease, remains obscure.
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2/5. A case of abetalipoproteinaemia in a Polish family.

    Abetalipoproteinaemia (ABLP) was diagnosed in a brother and sister, 9 and 13 years old, presenting with symptoms of malabsorption during the neonatal period. Both children showed most of the main clinical features of ABLP, including neurological, and ophthalmic symptoms, and mental retardation. Acanthocytosis of erythrocytes was almost complete in the affected children, while in most of the remaining 11 members of their three-generation family, it was found in less than 50% of red blood cells. Absence of apoprotein B and low concentrations of apo A-I and lipids were found only in ABLP-affected children. Among five siblings only the two affected children had ABLP-characteristic lipid storage in enterocytes. The latter features correlated better with clinical symptoms than did the acanthocytosis of erythrocytes.
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keywords = enterocytes
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3/5. Diarrhoea and malabsorption in acquired immune deficiency syndrome: a study of four cases with special emphasis on opportunistic protozoan infestations.

    Chronic diarrhoea is frequent in acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) but has been poorly investigated so far. We report four patients with AIDS in whom diarrhoea and malabsorption were outstanding features, and who underwent extensive digestive investigations. Diarrhoea was a presenting symptom in all subjects and was of secretory type in three of them. D-xylose and vitamin B12 were malabsorbed in all cases; steatorrhea was found in the two patients who could ingest significant amounts of fat. Faecal alpha 1-antitrypsin clearance was increased in all subjects. Search for digestive pathogens showed unusual protozoans in all patients: in case 1, optical and electron microscopy revealed the presence in the cytoplasm of villous enterocytes of microsporidia protozoans still unreported in AIDS. Stool and jejunal fluid examination showed isospora belli in case 2 and cryptosporidium in cases 3 and 4. On histological and ultrastructural study the former was localised in the cytoplasm of a few enterocytes and the latter was scattered throughout the villus and crypt brush border. Otherwise small intestinal histology only showed minor non-specific changes and the enterocytes were ultrastructurally normal. In patient 3 the slow marker intestinal perfusion technique showed a profuse fluid secretion in the duodenum and proximal jejunum. All patients needed prolonged total parenteral nutrition. cryptosporidium and microsporidia could not be eradicated despite multiple drug trials. isospora belli was transiently cured by pyrimethamine-sulphadiazine. Only patient 2 is presently at home, and patients 1, 3, and 4 died after two, six, and nine months of total parenteral nutrition, respectively.
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4/5. Chronic enterocyte infection with coronavirus. One possible cause of the syndrome of tropical sprue?

    A man with a gastrojejunostomy and intestinal malabsorption was found to be excreting large numbers of coronavirus-like particles in his stools over a period of at least eight months. coronavirus-like particles were found in vesicles in degenerating jejunal enterocytes in all of five jejunal biopsies. In a review of electron micrographs, similar structures were found in biopsies from three of 12 patients with classical chronic tropical sprue and in one patient with a sprue-like syndrome associated with agammaglobulinaemia. The hypothesis is advanced that infection with this virus may produce enterocyte damage and may be one cause of the syndrome of tropical sprue.
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5/5. Variable expression of familial heterozygous hypobetalipoproteinemia: transient malabsorption during infancy.

    Rare instances of symptomatic fat malabsorption have been reported in patients with heterozygous hypobetalipoproteinemia, but with an unclear pathogenesis. An 8-month-old boy with chronic diarrhea and failure to thrive was found to have abnormally low plasma total cholesterol (85 mg/dl), LDL-cholesterol (48 mg/dl), apoB (52 mg/dl), apoA-I (53 mg/dl), and vitamin e (0.22 mg/dl). Decreased plasma LDL-C and apoB were noted in the father (34 and 40 mg/dl, respectively), as well as several other family members. fasting triglycerides were normal but did not increase normally in response to a fat meal test. Lipoprotein composition showed an abnormal profile of very low density (VLDL, d 1.006 g/ml), low density (LDL, d 1.063 g/ml), and high density (HDL, d 1.21 g/ml) lipoproteins. A fasting jejunal biopsy revealed lipid-laden enterocytes. Electron microscopy of the jejunal biopsy revealed the absence of lipid particles in the intercellular spaces after a fat meal. Jejunal explants cultured with [14C]palmitate and [3H]leucine showed limited synthesis of triglycerides and apolipoproteins (36 and 42% of controls, respectively), whereas the father's results were close to normal. At 1 year of age, improvement in intestinal fat absorption was accompanied by the presence of chylomicrons in the intercellular space, concomitant with the enhanced synthesis of lipids and apoB by jejunal explants. These data provide evidence that heterozygous hypobetalipoproteinemia may present early in life as transient, symptomatic lipid malabsorption. The mechanisms responsible for improved lipid transport despite persistent hypobetalipoproteinemia remain to be established.
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