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An exotic cause of exudative enteropathy

Elena Tsourdi, Felix M. Heidrich, Maria Winzer, Christoph Röllig, Christian Kirsch, Jörn Meinel, Gustavo B. Baretton, Stefan R. Bornstein, Lorenz C. Hofbauer

(Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Diseases, University Clinic Dresden, Dresden, Germany)

Am J Case Rep 2014; 15:226-229

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.890483


Background: Protein-losing enteropathy is a rare cause of hypoproteinemia. Erosive and non-erosive gastrointestinal diseases as well as vascular disorders that result in increased central venous pressure or mesenteric lymphatic obstruction may result in protein loss via the gastrointestinal tract.
Case Report: We present the case of a 50-year-old man with protein-losing enteropathy, who had profuse diarrhea, abdominal pain, lymphadenopathy, fever, and a weight loss of 10 kg in the preceding 2 months. Extensive work-up revealed infection with Giardia lamblia. We review clinical signs and symptoms, laboratory findings, and imaging studies, and discuss potential pitfalls in establishing the diagnosis.
Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this represents one of the few published cases of intestinal giardiasis as a cause of protein-losing enteropathy in an immunocompetent adult. The diagnosis of lambliasis should be based on a combination of stool cultures and serum serology, and in cases of high clinical suspicion, an endoscopy and biopsy of the upper GI tract is recommended.

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