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.
- Auto-immune enteropathy
- Intractable diarrhoea in childhood
- Parenteral nutrition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health