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J Med Case Rep. 2013 Jan 14;7:19. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-7-19.

Primary intestinal lymphangiectasia diagnosed by double-balloon enteroscopy and treated by medium-chain triglycerides: a case report.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, 107 Yan Jiang Xi Road, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510120, People's Republic of China. yutao2014@yahoo.com.cn.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Primary intestinal lymphangiectasia is a disorder characterized by exudative enteropathy resulting from morphologic abnormalities of the intestinal lymphatics. Intestinal lymphangiectasia can be primary or secondary, so the diagnosis of primary intestinal lymphangiectasia must first exclude the possibility of secondary intestinal lymphangiectasia. A double-balloon enteroscopy and biopsy, as well as the pathology can be used to confirm the diagnosis of intestinal lymphangiectasia. A polymeric diet containing medium-chain triglycerides and total parenteral nutrition may be a useful therapy.

CASE PRESENTATION:

A 17-year-old girl of Mongoloid ethnicity was admitted to our hospital with a history of diarrhea and edema. She was diagnosed with protein-losing enteropathy caused by intestinal lymphangiectasia. This was confirmed by a double-balloon enteroscopy and multi-dot biopsy. After treatment with total parenteral nutrition in hospital, which was followed by a low-fat and medium-chain triglyceride diet at home, she was totally relieved of her symptoms.

CONCLUSION:

Intestinal lymphangiectasia can be diagnosed with a double-balloon enteroscopy and multi-dot biopsy, as well as the pathology of small intestinal tissue showing edema of the submucosa and lymphangiectasia. Because intestinal lymphangiectasia can be primary or secondary, the diagnosis of primary intestinal lymphangiectasia must first exclude the possibility of secondary intestinal lymphangiectasia. A positive clinical response to the special diet therapy, namely a low-fat and medium-chain triglyceride diet, can further confirm the diagnosis of primary intestinal lymphangiectasia.

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