Protein-losing enteropathy is an abnormal loss of protein from the digestive tract. It can also refer to refer to the inability of the digestive tract to absorb proteins.
Causes of Protein-losing enteropathy
There are many causes of protein-losing enteropathy. Conditions that cause serious inflammation in the intestines can lead to protein loss. Some of these are:
- Bacteria or parasite infection of the intestines
- Celiac sprue
- Crohn's disease
- HIV infection
Protein-losing enteropathy Symptoms
Symptoms can include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. Symptoms will depend on the disease that is causing the problem.
Tests and Exams
You may need tests that look at the intestinal tract. These may include a CT scan of the abdomen or an upper GI bowel series.
Other tests you may need include:
- Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
- Small intestine biopsy
- Alpha-1-antitrypsin test
Treatment of Protein-losing enteropathy
The health care provider will treat the condition that caused protein-losing enteropathy.
Greenwald DA. Protein losing enteropathy. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2010:chap 28.
Semrad CE. Approach to the patient with diarrhea and malabsorption. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 142.
|Review Date: 8/19/2014
Reviewed By: Jenifer K. Lehrer, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Frankford-Torresdale Hospital, Aria Health System, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.