Pathology of the Gastrointestinal Tract

2017 Edition
| Editors: Fátima Carneiro, Paula Chaves, Arzu Ensari

Tropical Sprue

  • Arzu EnsariEmail author
Reference work entry


Non-celiac sprue; Postinfectious sprue; Post-infective tropical malabsorption


Tropical sprue (TS) is a rare acquired enteropathy of unknown etiology, characterized by malabsorption, multiple nutritional deficiencies, and mucosal abnormalities in the small bowel mainly occurring among the individuals living in or visiting the tropical countries. Tropical sprue results from a nutritional deficiency, or a transmissible microorganism and/or a toxin. Malabsorption is usually initiated by an infection followed by colonization of the small bowel by enterotoxigenic bacteria. Several microorganisms have been suspected, but none are common to all patients. Genetic or ethnic predispositions have also been suggested. Symptoms of TS include chronic non-bloody diarrhea, weight loss, bloating, and abdominal cramps. Physical examination may reveal pallor, angular stomatitis, glossitis, mouth ulcers, and peripheral edema due to protein deficiency. Anemia related to B12and folic...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Batheja, M. J., Leighton, J., Azueta, A., & Heigh, R. (2010). The face of tropical sprue in 2010. Case Reports in Gastroenterology, 19, 168–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ghoshal, U. C., & Ranjan, P. (2011). Post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome: The past, the present and the future. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 26(Suppl 3), 94–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ghoshal, U. C., Ghoshal, U., Ayyagari, A., et al. (2003). Tropical sprue is associated with contamination of small bowel with aerobic bacteria and reversible prolongation of orocecal transit time. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 18, 540–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ramakrishna, B. S., Venkataraman, S., & Mukhopadhya, A. (2006). Tropical malabsorption. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 82, 779–787.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Veitch, A. M., Kelly, P., Zulu, I. S., et al. (2001). Tropical enteropathy: A T-cell-mediated crypt hyperplastic enteropathy. European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 13, 1175–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyAnkara University Medical SchoolSihhiyeTurkey