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April 1934


Author Affiliations


From the Division of Medicine and the Section of Roentgenology, the Mayo Clinic.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1934;53(4):615-629. doi:10.1001/archinte.1934.00160100137009

The first hint of a clinical syndrome in which diarrhea was associated with metabolic disorders appeared in Trousseau's1 celebrated lecture on tetany. It is now well recognized that certain types of fatty diarrhea may be associated with serious depletion of calcium and tetany. These clinical syndromes are described under the names of "nontropical sprue," "idiopathic steatorrhea," "Gee's disease," "Gee-Herter disease," "adult celiac disease," "intestinal lipodystrophia" and various other names. If one may judge from current reports in the literature and from our experience, this condition is probably considerably more common than is generally believed.

The literature on this disorder has been completely reviewed in recent reports by Linder and Harris,2 Bauer and Marble,3 Bennett, Hunter and Vaughan,4 physicians of the Mayo Clinic, and numerous other authors. The clinical picture, as established by previous reports, is that of fatty diarrhea with associated changes in the metabolism of