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Anales de Medicina Interna

Print version ISSN 0212-7199


OTON NIETO, E. et al. Controversies about the clinical management of Whipple's disease. An. Med. Interna (Madrid) [online]. 2004, vol.21, n.10, pp.28-30. ISSN 0212-7199.

Background: There are a lot of controversies related to the diagnostic and therapeutic management of Whipple's disease. Patients: We present 4 cases of Whipple's disease, collected from the Gastroenterology Service of the Hospital Ramon y Cajal, from Madrid. Results: The average age was 69. The first symptoms were in order of frequency, arthralgias, loss of weight, arthritis, diarrhoea, fever, epigastric pain and neurologic symptoms. Three were treated with trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazol and one with cefixime. There were no recurrences. Conclusions: The endoscopic appearance of the duodenum is fundamental for the suspicion of the disease. The initial parenteral treatment may consist of ceftriaxone and try to avoid using streptomycine because of its toxicity, followed by oral trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazol. As an alternative to the latter, cefixime is usually effective. The typical findings of the duodenum biopsy can persist several months or years after finishing the treatment, decreasing the value of endoscopic pursuit after treatment.

Keywords : Whipple's disease; Treatment; Malnutrition.

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