Protein-losing enteropathy

  • Definition
    • Protein-losing enteropathy is an abnormal loss of protein from the digestive tract. It can also refer to the inability of the digestive tract to absorb proteins.

  • Causes
    • 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:

  • Symptoms
    • Symptoms can include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. Symptoms will depend on the disease that is causing the problem.

  • Exams and Tests
    • 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:

      • Colonoscopy
      • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
      • Small intestine biopsy
      • Alpha-1-antitrypsin test
      • Small bowel capsule endoscopy
      • CT or MR enterography
      • Alpha-1-antitrypsin test
  • Treatment
    • The health care provider will treat the condition that caused protein-losing enteropathy.

  • References
    • Greenwald DA. Protein losing gastroenteropathy. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 30.

      Semrad CE. Approach to the patient with diarrhea and malabsorption. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 140.