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kwashiorkor

Pronunciation: kwah-she-or'kor

Definition: A dietary protein deficiency disease seen originally in Africans, particularly children 1–3 years old. It is characterized by marked hypoalbuminemia, anemia, edema, pot belly, depigmentation of the skin, loss of hair or change in hair color to red, and bulky stools containing undigested food. Postmortem examination reveals fatty changes in the cells of the liver, atrophy of the acinar cells of the pancreas, and hyalinization of the renal glomeruli.

Synonym(s): infantile pellagra, malignant malnutrition

[Ga, a language of Ghana, red boy or displaced child]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.

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