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October 1968

Potassium-Depletion ParalysisAssociated With Gluten-Induced Enteropathy

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn
From the sections of pediatrics (Dr. Wenzl) and neurology (Dr. Groover), Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn, and the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Rochester, Minn (Dr. Musselman).

Am J Dis Child. 1968;116(4):414-417. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1968.02100020418013

PARALYSIS resulting from severe potassium depletion has been reported in association with both abnormal renal losses and abnormal gastrointestinal losses of potassium.1-3 Steatorrhea in adults has been associated with severe potassium depletion and paralysis.4-6 The present paper concerns a child who had potassium-depletion paralysis resulting from steatorrhea of gluten-induced enteropathy.

Report of a Case  A 4⅓-year-old white girl was referred to the Mayo Clinic on Feb 2, 1967, because of acute, severe, progressive weakness. The child had been in her usual state of health until about 14 days previously. Usually she had been a quiet, passive child who avoided strenuous activity, never ran, and tired easily. Since infancy she had had a distended abdomen and abnormal bowel movements. The bowel movements had usually numbered two per day, and the stools were large, unformed, foul smelling, and floated in the commode.Two weeks before referral to this clinic and

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