Nontropical sprue is, in the opinion of a number of investigators, a complex disorder of unknown etiology chiefly characterized by intestinal malabsorption which may be genetically transmitted.1-3 It is possible that celiac disease in children as well as tropical and nontropical sprue in adults are clinical manifestations of the same unknown basic metabolic disturbance.3-5 Symptoms may start early in life or remain latent for years and become manifest at middle age or later.3 It has been suggested that various factors such as the stress of tropical climates, infections, antibiotics, and possibly psychological disturbances may act as precipitating mechanisms converting a predisposed person with "latent sprue" into a patient with the symptoms and signs of "manifest sprue."
An additional precipitating mechanism is hinted at by the clinical course and findings in the case to be described. This patient exhibited manifestations of malabsorption which possibly coincided with the development
KELLEY ML, TROUP SB, LOGAN VW, TERRY R. Carcinoma of Cecum with Primary Malabsorption Syndrome. Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(2):284-291. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620080116012