Increasing interest in intestinal lipodystrophy (Whipple's disease) has been shown during the past year, with two series of six and seven cases, respectively, having been reported.1 These represent about one-fifth of the accepted cases reported in the world's literature since the original description of this disease by George Whipple in 1907.2 Evidence suggests that intestinal lipodystrophy is more than a local disease of the small intestine. Typical pathological changes may be found not only in the intestinal mucosa and mesenteric lymph nodes but in peripheral lymph nodes as well.3 Indeed, serous cavities may be involved, and bacterial vegetations in the endocardium are not rare.4
A highly characteristic clinical picture usually is present. This includes diarrhea, steatorrhea, arthralgia, lymphadenopathy, abdominal pain, and weight loss. One or more of these manifestations may be absent, but, generally, all will develop during the course of the disease.
The patient reported
Hargrove MD, Verner JV, Patrick RL, Ruffin JM. INTESTINAL LIPODYSTROPHY WITHOUT DIARRHEAREPORT OF A CASE DIAGNOSED BY INTESTINAL TUBE BIOPSY. JAMA. 1960;173(10):1125–1128. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.73020280002014a
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