September 1980

Apparent Protein-Losing Enteropathy Associated With Giardiasis

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Pediatric Gastroenterology Unit University of California Medical Center San Francisco, CA 94143

Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(9):893-894. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.02130210073021

Giardia lamblia is a flagellated protozoan that frequently inhabits the human proximal small intestine and is pathogenic on occasion.1,2 When it is pathogenic, mucosal injury may be minimal to severe, and frequently is patchy in distribution.1-3 Diarrhea, steatorrhea, nausea, anorexia, and epigastric fullness have been well established, but association with a protein-losing enteropathy has not been appreciated.1-4 We studied a 5-year-old boy with giardiasis and apparent protein-losing enteropathy that subsequently resolved after treatment of giardiasis with metronidazole.

Report of a Case.—A 5-year-old boy was admitted to the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, with a two-day history of swelling in his legs and around his eyes, as well as abdominal protuberance. Six days prior to admission, the patient had begun to vomit, but there was no fever, diarrhea, or other symptoms. Medical history and results of a systems' review were unremarkable. One month prior to