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Mayo Clin Proc. 1998 Aug;73(8):777-9.

Use of heparin in the treatment of protein-losing enteropathy after fontan operation for complex congenital heart disease.

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Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


Protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) is a serious complication of the Fontan operation and is associated with pronounced mortality. Medical management of PLE has been only partially successful. A recent report noted dramatic improvement in patients with PLE within 3 weeks of subcutaneous administration of heparin. We report a case of reversal of PLE with resolution of clinical symptoms and normalization of serum albumin, total protein, and fecal alpha1-antitrypsin values after several months of heparin treatment. Our findings substantiate those recently reported but suggest that reversal of PLE may necessitate more than a few weeks of heparin therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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