Infectious diseases

Whipple's disease: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Whipple's disease (synonym - intestinal lipodystrophy) is considered a rare disease that affects the small intestine and some other organs.Therefore, many doctors forget about its existence.Meanwhile, a disease with timely competent treatment has a favorable outcome.


  • 1 reasons
  • 2 Symptoms
  • 3 Diagnostics
  • 4 Treatment
  • 5 forecast

Intestinal lipodystrophy seen predominantly in men.The average patient age is approaching 50, but Whipple's disease can also affect very young people.

Modern researchers believe that Whipple's disease is caused by certain species of bacilli Tropheryma whippelii, which penetrate, piling up and multiply in immune cells - macrophages.In healthy people, these cells engulf and destroy infectious agents, but in this case the bacilli remain intact.

further modified macrophages accumulate in the intestinal mucosa (infiltrate it).This leads to a significant reduction of absorption by digestive enzymes digested nutrients in the blood.Their transport is i

nterrupted at the level of the small intestine, so the mucous formed droplets of fat (lipodystrophy).They exacerbate the changes in absorption of vitamins, proteins, minerals, carbohydrates and fats.Then, the process moves to the mesenteric (intra-abdominal) lymph nodes and lymphatic system gets to other organs (myocardium, joints, peritoneum, pericardium, pleura, brain, etc.).

In individual patients directly involved and the gut and other organs.

Classic version intestinal lipodystrophy has three successive stages:

At first appear ill patient:

1-2 years later manifest intestinal (intestinal) symptoms due to malabsorption of food components necessary for an organism developing metabolic disorders.The patient begins to worry:

With the development of the final stages of a patient can be detected various problems.Their character is determined by the location of the lesion of disease.The patient developed:

Not every expert remembers of Whipple's disease.However, it can already be suspected based on the clinical picture consistent unfolding.To fully confirm the diagnosis of a rare necessarily require diagnostic procedures:

After verification of the diagnosis the doctor can begin a comprehensive treatment.The patient must understand that it will take a long time (at least one year) and will require some patience.Partly chaotic swallowing various pills only exacerbate the difficult situation and cause a relapse (resumption) of Whipple's disease.

Therapy intestinal lipodystrophy include:

With adequate treatment temperature is normal, and diarrhea are reduced by the end of the first week.Joint pain regress over months.But this is not a great speaker serves as a signal to the completion of treatment.Patients should be kept under close medical supervision.To determine the true dynamics of the disease need numerous re-biopsy specimens.

Subject to the timely initiation of antibiotic, hormone and the recoverable nutrient deficiency treatment Whipple's disease has a favorable prognosis.If treatment is not available, and the symptoms of the disease progresses, patients may die within 2 years from the start of the second stage of the disease.