Intestinal Lymphangiectasia Follow-up

Updated: Dec 19, 2014
  • Author: Hisham Nazer, MB, BCh, FRCP, , DTM&H; Chief Editor: Julian Katz, MD  more...
  • Print
Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

See the list below:

  • Although patients are encouraged to maintain a physically active lifestyle, adjustments must be made to minimize peripheral edema.
    • For most patients, postural drainage by elevating the affected extremities above the level of the heart is easy to promote compliance.
    • Suggestions to increase compliance may include the use of recliners in the evenings and the use of elastic support stockings to decrease the potential for cellulitis and lymphangitis.
  • Theoretically, limiting the patient's salt intake could decrease edema, although no reports on this subject are known. In addition, the effects are probably not significant because diuretics do not have an important role in controlling edema in patients with primary intestinal lymphangiectasia.
Next:

Inpatient & Outpatient Medications

See the list below:

  • No maintenance medications for primary intestinal lymphangiectasia are indicated, other than the use of octreotide.
  • Patients with secondary intestinal lymphangiectasia should continue the maintenance medications of their primary underlying disease.
Previous
Next:

Complications

See the list below:

  • Primary intestinal lymphangiectasia is associated with an increased risk of lymphoma.
  • Fibrotic entrapment of the small bowel is reported in patients with congenital intestinal lymphangiectasia.
  • Oral manifestations include gingivitis caused by poor lymphocytic function and enamel defects caused by poor calcium absorption.
Previous
Next:

Prognosis

See the list below:

  • For patients with primary intestinal lymphangiectasia with an onset early in life (usually during the first decade), growth retardation usually occurs.
  • The prognosis of patients with secondary intestinal lymphangiectasia depends on the extent and severity of the underlying disease.
  • The clinical course is highly variable with about 23% of patients showing improvement and 64% remaining unchanged; the mortality rate is 13%.
Previous