Protein losing enteropathy

This term is used when there is excessive loss of protein into the gut lumen, sufficient to cause hypoproteinaemia. Less than 10% of plasma protein is normally lost from the gastrointestinal tract. Protein-losing enteropathy occurs in many gut disorders but is most common in those where ulceration occurs. In other disorders protein loss results from increased mucosal permeability or obstruction of intestinal lymphatic vessels. Patients present with peripheral oedema and hypoproteinaemia in the presence of normal liver function and without proteinuria. There may also be features of the underlying cause.

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