The American Journal of Digestive Diseases

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 128–137 | Cite as

Steatorrhea and hypoalbuminemia in cirrhosis with ascites

  • Melvin Jay Schwartz


Steatorrhea associated with advanced cirrhosis of the liver was studied by means of the I131-labeled oleic acid absorption test. The validity of the use of this test as a measure of fat absorption by the small intestine was reviewed. Malabsorption of oleic acid was demonstrated in each of the 6 cirrhotic patients examined. The impaired absorption of oleic acid was attributed to pathologic changes in the mucosa of the small intestine secondary to portal hypertension. The clinical implications of this finding were discussed.

The possibility that a protein-losing enteropathy might contribute to the hypoalbuminemia of advanced cirrhosis was investigated by means of intravenously administered I131-labeled polyvinylpyrrolidone and I131-labeled serum albumin. However, no significant loss of protein through the gastrointestinal tract was demonstrated in the 4 cirrhotic patients examined for this condition.


Hypertension Albumin Small Intestine Gastrointestinal Tract Oleic Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Hoeber Medical Division • Harper & Row, Publishers, Incorporated 1964

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melvin Jay Schwartz
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.From the Department of RadioisotopesBeilinson HospitalPetach TikvahIsrael
  2. 2.the Department of Radiophysics, Division of Gastroenterology, the Nutrition Laboratory, Department of MedicineMt. Sinai HospitalNew York

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