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Tropical Sprue Treatment & Management

  • Author: Rohan C Clarke, MD; Chief Editor: Julian Katz, MD  more...
 
Updated: Dec 15, 2014
 

Medical Care

See the list below:

  • Patients with tropical sprue rarely present to the ED with the following symptoms. Unless folate or vitamin B-12 deficiencies are noted, the diagnosis will probably be made later. The symptoms require urgent evaluation and initiation replacement of deficient nutrients, fluid, and electrolytes. Hospital admission is indicated in complicated cases. Symptoms include the following:
    • Acute diarrhea
    • Volume depletion
    • Electrolyte imbalance
    • Symptomatic anemia
  • Without treatment, tropical sprue runs a relapsing course and can result in severe malnutrition.
  • Useful therapeutic interventions involve antibiotics and replacement of nutrients (eg, folic acid, vitamin B-12, iron), deficient fluid, and sometimes blood. However, despite success reported in other regions, antibiotic therapy for tropical sprue is not useful in patient populations of southern India.
  • Generally, administer a combination of antibiotics and folic acid to patients for 3-6 months. Patients with symptoms persisting longer than 6 months may be administered the combination for as long as a year.
  • Assess patients' responses by improvement of symptoms, weight gain, and correction of anemia. The duration of treatment depends on the duration of symptoms.
 
 
Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Rohan C Clarke, MD Director, Department of Gastroenterology, JPS Health Systems Hospital

Rohan C Clarke, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Gastroenterology, American College of Physicians, American Gastroenterological Association, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a speaker or a member of a speakers bureau for: Cubist; <br/>Received reimbursement from Boston Scientific for learning observership for eus; Received honoraria from Optimer pharmaceutical for speaking and teaching.

Coauthor(s)

Oluyinka S Adediji, MD, MBBS Consulting Staff, Department of Adult and General Medicine, Health Services Incorporated, Montgomery, Alabama

Oluyinka S Adediji, MD, MBBS is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Lisa Anne Ozick, MD Attending Gastroenterologist, Leumit Health Clinic, Israel

Lisa Anne Ozick, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Gastroenterology, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Sabo B Tanimu, MD Fellow, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Harlem Hospital Center

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Rachael M Ferraro, DO Internal Medicine Hospitalist, Torrance Memorial Medical Center, Little Company of Mary Hospital

Rachael M Ferraro, DO is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Osteopathic Internists, American College of Physicians, American Osteopathic Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Noel Williams, MD, FRCPC FACP, MACG, Professor Emeritus, Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Noel Williams, MD, FRCPC is a member of the following medical societies: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Julian Katz, MD Clinical Professor of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine

Julian Katz, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Gastroenterology, American College of Physicians, American Gastroenterological Association, American Geriatrics Society, American Medical Association, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics, American Trauma Society, Association of American Medical Colleges, Physicians for Social Responsibility

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Manoop S Bhutani, MD Professor, Co-Director, Center for Endoscopic Research, Training and Innovation (CERTAIN), Director, Center for Endoscopic Ultrasound, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Texas Medical Branch; Director, Endoscopic Research and Development, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Manoop S Bhutani, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Advancement of Science, American College of Gastroenterology, American College of Physicians, American Gastroenterological Association, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Subtotal villous atrophy (H&E, orig. mag. ×10).
Tropical sprue (H&E, orig. mag. ×10).
Endoscopic views of unsuspected celiac disease. A: Absent duodenal folds. B: Mucosal fissures and scalloped folds. C: Scalloped fold.
 
 
 
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