Steatorrhea is a prominent feature of a number of relatively uncommon diseases, among which may be mentioned sprue (tropical and nontropical) and celiac disease (Gee and Herter). In his recent monograph on idiopathic steatorrhea, Thaysen1 attempted to prove that tropical sprue, nontropical sprue and celiac disease are manifestations of the same pathologic process. Others also have challenged the idea that sprue is a purely tropical disease and of restricted distribution. That the nontropical form of the disease is being more frequently recognized and reported is indicated by the articles of Thaysen,1 Bennett, Hunter and Vaughan2 and Mackie.3 The last-mentioned author was able to collect reports of seventy-one cases from the literature. Other cases are known, and the condition is probably more common than is generally believed.
This syndrome must be distinguished from other types of diarrhea, among which is the type that is the result of
WEIR JF, ADAMS M. IDIOPATHIC STEATORRHEAMETABOLIC STUDY OF A PATIENT, WITH REFERENCE TO THE UTILIZATION OF NITROGEN AND FAT. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1935;56(6):1109–1116. doi:10.1001/archinte.1935.00170040043003
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.