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Pediatr Med Chir. 1996 May-Jun;18(3):269-73.

[Protein-losing gastroenteropathy (Ménétrier's disease) in childhood: a report of 3 cases].

[Article in Italian]

Author information

  • 1Istituto di Clinica Pediatrica, Università degli Studi di Ancona, Italia.


So far, Ménétrier's disease has been thought to be an uncommon disorder in children. It is characterized by hypertrophic gastritis, protein-losing enteropathy, hypoproteinemia and edema. During childhood, the main features of this condition include an abrupt onset and a spontaneous recovery. In this paper we describe three children, aging between 3 months and 3 years, who presented with protracted vomiting, generalized edema, colitis (one case) and elevated serum aminotransferases (one case). The diagnosis of Ménétrier's disease was made by finding the typical endoscopic and histological picture of the gastric mucosa (two cases) or by the radiological findings (one case). The fecal alpha-1-antitrypsin excretion, which is a marker of the protein-losing enteropathy, was high in all patients. Two cases showed evidences for a primary CMV infection as the possible cause of Ménétrier's disease, due to the presence of cytomegalic inclusions in the gastric mucosa and the IgM class anti-CMV antibodies positivity. All 3 cases, who received only a support treatment (plasma and albumin intravenous infusions), completely recovered in a 2-3 weeks time. In conclusion, it is confirmed that in children a protein-losing gastroenteropathy may be caused by a primary infection with CMV.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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