Intractable diarrhoea in infancy in the 1990s: A survey in Italy

Alessandro Ventura, Dana Dragovich, N. Ansaldi, F. Balli, G. Banchini, F. Bascietto, C. Bianchi, M. Bonamico, M. Calvani, F. Cataldo, C. Catassi, C. Light, M. Ciampolini, A. Dore, L. DeSeta, D. Faraguha, R. Ferrari, M. Fontana, A. M. Giunta, S. GuandaliniA. Guarino, G. Iacono, A. Lambertini, R. Lazzari, G. Mastella, A. Miano, R. Patanè, F. Pesce, P. Roggero, V. Rutigliano, S. Scotta, A. Tedesch, R. Troncone, A. Ugazio, L. Zancan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: A "quick" prevalence study of intractable diarrhoea (defined as diarrhoea lasting more than 3 weeks and dependent on parenteral nutrition [PN] for more than 50% of daily caloric intake) was conducted by FAX. All 35 paediatric gastroenterology services which had been contacted answered questionnaire sent by FAX. 20 cases of intractable diarrhoea were identified in 9 centres. In 12 cases PN was administered at home, the other 8 cases being treated as inpatients for an average duration of 9.5 months. A diagnosis had been established in 11 out of 20 cases. Auto-immune enteropathy was the most frequent diagnosis (5 cases); congenital microvillous atrophy (3 cases); chronic pseudo-obstruction (2 cases) and multiple food intolerance (1 case). Undefinied 9/20 cases presented atrophy of intestinal mucosa. The age of the beginning of diarrhoea varied from 2 days to 12 years, but was more than 16 months only in some cases with auto-immune enteropathy. Conclusion: Intractable diarrhoea has a low prevalence in Italy and remains a rare but very intricating problem. Long-term PN is recommended in most cases: autoimmune enteropathy is the most frequent cause but in about half of the cases the aetiopathogenetic diagnosis is still not defined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-525
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1995


  • Auto-immune enteropathy
  • Intractable diarrhoea in childhood
  • Parenteral nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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