Tropical Sprue in 2014: the New Face of an Old Disease

  • Uday C. Ghoshal
  • Deepakshi Srivastava
  • Abhai Verma
  • Ujjala Ghoshal
Small Intestine (J Sellin, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Small Intestine


Tropical sprue (TS), once known to be a common cause of malabsorption syndrome (MAS) in India and other tropical countries, is believed to be uncommon currently in spite of contrary evidence. Several recent studies from India showed TS to be the commonest cause of sporadic MAS in Indian adults. TS is diagnosed in patients presenting with suggestive clinical presentation, which cannot be explained by another cause of MAS and investigations revealing malabsorption of two unrelated substances, abnormal small-intestinal mucosal histology, which responds to treatment with antibiotics such as tetracycline and folic acid. There is substantial overlap between TS and postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome. There have been several advances in epidemiology, pathogenesis, and diagnosis of TS, hitherto an enigmatic condition.


Malabsorption Syndrome Small-bowel bacterial overgrowth Malnutrition Chronic diarrhea Postinfectious IBS 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Uday C. Ghoshal, Ujjala Ghoshal, Deepakshi Srivastava, and Abhai Verma declare no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uday C. Ghoshal
    • 1
  • Deepakshi Srivastava
    • 1
  • Abhai Verma
    • 1
  • Ujjala Ghoshal
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GastroenterologySanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical SciencesLucknowIndia
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologySanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical SciencesLucknowIndia

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