Whipples Disease

Abdomen | Gastroenterology | Whipples Disease (Disease)


Whipple disease is a multi-systemic bacterial infection, which interfere with the bodys ability to metabolize fat. The disease can affect any system in the body, and including the central nervous, but usually develops in the digestive tract. Gastrointestinal symptoms may include diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, pain and gastrointestinal bleeding.

Neurological symptoms are pathological changes of the eye and facial expression muscles, confusion, ataxia, seizures, memory loss and vision. Fever, cough and sore joints may also be present. Whipple disease mainly affects Caucasian men between 30 and 60.

Signs and symptoms encountered include: cachexia, distended abdomen; glossitis, perles; Trousseau and Chvostek-sign-secondary hypocalcemia; gingivitis and gum bleeding, secondary deficiency of vitamin C; temporary night-blindness, vitamin A deficiency secondary; visible peristalsis with hydro-air leakage noise; orbital and cheek areas hyperpigmentation; swollen joints. Biopsy is the most reliable test, the sample may be brain tissue, cardiac intestinal.

Causes and Risk factors

Whipples disease is caused by an infection with Tropheryma whipple. The infection usually affects the intestines, but can meet and lung, heart, joints, eye and brain.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is by histologic examination and culture of intestinal biopsy pieces. Disease are cured with antibiotics. Classic clinical presentation of Whipple disease begins with weakness and arthralgia, arthritis, fever, diarrhea. Lymphadenopathy may be present.

Other tests used are: PCR; applied magnetic resonance brain; abdominal CT-computer; determine the percentage of fat in stool; laboratory tests to demonstrate malabsorption: serum albumin, serum carotene, prothrombin time. Clinical manifestations of the disease could be due to infiltration of various tissues T. Whipple. Patients immune system reacts incorporating bacteria in tissue macrophages. These macrophages infiltrated tissues can be observed by direct microscopy. ...