Papers And Originals

Postinfective Malabsorption: A Sprue Syndrome

Br Med J 1973; 2 doi: (Published 05 May 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;2:265

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. R. D. Montgomery,
  2. D. J. Beale,
  3. H. G. Sammons,
  4. R. Schneider


    Thirteen cases are described of temporary malabsorption in adults presenting after an episode of apparent infective enteritis. Clinical features included diarrohea, anorexia, and weight loss. Investigations indicated diffuse impairment of function in the small bowel, including the ileum, with well-preserved mucosal morphology in the upper jejunum and a tendency to rapid folate depletion. Spontaneous recovery usually occurred within weeks but two cases ran a more prolonged and severe course.

    The clinical features of this syndrome are those of tropical sprue, but the outcome of the illness is probably influenced by nutritional as well as environmental factors. There may be a gradation of severity of illness from megaloblastic anaemia to florid malabsorption syndrome.