PMID: 5921477Dec 3, 1966

Idiopathic retroperitoneal fibrosis with protein-losing enteropathy and duodenal obstruction successfully treated with corticosteroids

Canadian Medical Association Journal
C K ChewL S Valberg


A 40-year-old carpenter presented with vomiting due to duodenal obstruction. On further investigation he had partial obstruction of both ureters and occlusion of the inferior vena cava. At laparotomy a large retroperitoneal mass of fibrous tissue was found, which extended into the root of the mesentery of the small intestine and partially occluded the duodenum. There was enlargement of lymphatics and stasis of lymph throughout the mesentery. Hypoalbuminemia was present. (131)I-labelled human serum albumin disappeared rapidly from the plasma and there was excessive loss of plasma albumin into the gastrointestinal tract, presumably owing to obstruction of the lymphatic drainage of the small intestine. Prompt improvement followed treatment with prednisolone. Steroids are apparently useful in this condition, early in the disease before irreversible fibrosis has developed. The presenting feature, vomiting due to duodenal obstruction, has been reported in retroperitoneal fibrosis only once before. This is the first report of protein-losing enteropathy in this disorder.

Related Concepts

Duodenal Obstruction
Lymphatic System
Idiopathic Hypercatabolic Hypoproteinemia
Diagnostic Radiologic Examination
Retroperitoneal Fibrosis
Serum Albumin, Radio-Iodinated
Ureteral Obstruction
Inferior Vena Cava Structure

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