Primary intestinal lymphangiectasia successfully treated with octreotide
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A 21-year-old man with diarrhea and edema was admitted to our hospital and diagnosed with protein-losing enteropathy caused by primary intestinal lymphangiectasia. He was placed, in turn, on a low-fat diet, an elemental diet, and, subsequently, fasting therapy with total parenteral nutrition (TPN) support. However, his symptoms were not relieved, but, rather were exacerbated. On the 45th day of hospitalization, octreotide therapy was initiated. After 2 weeks of treatment, his clinical symptoms, as well as hypoproteinemia and hypoalbuminemia, gradually became alleviated. The improvement was confirmed in terms of scintigraphy, endoscopy, and histology of the duodenum. The patient remained healthy until 6 months after the commencement of octreotide treatment, when he discontinued octreotide at his own discretion, at which point the symptoms recurred. Resumption of the drug; however, again brought about remission, which has continued until the present, March 2000. Thus, octreotide therapy is one modality which may be useful for refractory primary intestinal lymphangiectasia.
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