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Acute jejunal ileus in intestinal lymphangiectasia

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Summary

A 26-year-old patient presented with epigastric pain of sudden onset and severe puffy swelling of both legs and forearms. An irregularly shaped nodular filling defect on selective jejunal films, severe hypoproteinemia, low IgG concentration, and lymphopenia were suggestive of primary intestinal lymphangiectasia with protein-losing enteropathy, and the patient was placed on a low-fat diet with medium-chain triglycerides. This initially improved his condition, but some weeks later he developed obstructive ileus of the small intestine. On laparotomy yellowish to whitish deposits were found to be present in some segments of the small intestine and a fist-sized mass 100 cm distal to the duodenojejunal flexure was resected without complications. Histologically, the submucosal lymphatics were dilated, and the jejunal wall showed extensive pseudocystic, intramural submucosal lymph edema with secondary bleeding and tight stenosis of the jejunal lumen. During the 14-month follow-up time after discharge the patient has been asymptomatic and working, on no treatment other than a low-fat diet with medium-chain triglycerides.

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Lenzhofer, R., Lindner, M., Moser, A. et al. Acute jejunal ileus in intestinal lymphangiectasia. Clin Investig 71, 568–571 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00208483

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